ASUCR Judicial branch rules that no candidates will be disqualified due to campaign violations

On May 8, the sixth ASUCR meeting of spring quarter occurred in HUB 221. The meeting was called to order at 6:34 p.m.

During ex-officio reports, Peter Haddad, an associate justice from the ASUCR Judicial Council, announced multiple decisions made by the Judicial Council. On May 3, a Judicial Council meeting was held to hear appeals from then-candidates who had multiple campaign violations. Another hearing was held on May 7 to hear from other candidates who also had multiple campaign violations. Violations appeals came from candidates Julian Gonzalez, Lennin Kuri, Isaiah Kim, Luis Huerta and Tiffany Menendez.

Haddad first announced that President-Elect Julian Gonzalez violated the elections code, item six, section b, subsection two, which states that candidates are permitted to post up to three, 3-by-5 foot posters on exterior brick surfaces of campus buildings and must be adhered with blue masking or painters tape. The code states that “these posters must be one hundred feet (100′) apart for an individual/referenda, and one foot (1′) apart from other candidates/referenda.” The judicial branch voted in a 4-0-0 decision to rescind all of Gonzalez’s strikes. Gonzalez no longer faces disqualification and will remain the president-elect.

Vice President of External Affairs-Elect Luis Huerta also faced disqualification over violations of the election code, item six, section b, subsection two and item six, section a, subsection one. Huerta’s posters were allegedly not stamped by the ASUCR front office. The judicial branch’s vote over Huerta’s disqualification tied 2-2-0. According to Haddad, a tied vote results in a not guilty verdict. Huerta’s strikes were rescinded and he will no longer face disqualification. He will serve as vice president of external affairs in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Then CHASS-senator candidate Isaiah Kim also violated item six, section b, subsection two. The judicial branch ruled in a 4-0-0 decision to rescind his strikes due to discrepancies in the election code. Kim lost as CHASS senator with 620 votes. Nelson Huerta, who also lost the CHASS senator race with 592 votes, also violated item six, section a, subsection one. His strike was upheld in a 4-0-0 decision.

CHASS senators-elect Ky Nguyen and Ky Nguyen and Tiffany Menendez both faced campaign violations. The judicial branch tied in their decision in regards to Nguyen and his strikes were rescinded. Haddad announced that the evidence against Menendez, who was accused of posting fliers or posters on the Rivera Library arches, not sufficient enough; the judicial branch ruled that she will not be disqualified. Haddad then addressed the Senate and stated, “The elections code is super vague and poorly written. I encourage you all to take a deeper look into the elections code and revise as needed.”

Haddad also announced the Judicial Council’s decision regarding S19-JR-2, Domecillo v. Cuevas which investigated the proper firing procedure of a parliamentarian. This case arose in response to Executive Vice President (EVP) Andrea Cuevas’s firing of Jose Rodriguez, the former parliamentarian. The Judicial Council ruled that the EVP holds the authority to determine the length of the term of a parliamentarian and that the EVP does not have to notify or receive approval from the Senate when firing a parliamentarian.

Haddad stated that the Judicial Council does recommend that in the future, the EVP does give a written notice to employees who they will be firing. They voted unanimously in favor of Cuevas, upholding Rodriguez’s termination.

Rodriguez had stated in a Feb. 25 senate meeting  that ASUCR members had not been following protocol when submitting legislation (such as resolutions). Gonzalez stated that senators are supposed to provide 48 hours notice for their proposals, however, according to Gonzalez they had not been following that protocol. Haddad stated that the Judicial Council ruled that Cuevas could not fulfill this protocol and her duties, “on account of some of her fellow cabinet members. We ruled unanimously in favor of Cuevas.”

Haddad further explained this decision by stating that while Cuevas is responsible as EVP to provide 48 hours notice for their proposals, “this does not excuse the obligations of her fellow senators and members of the legislative and executive branch.”

After ex-officio reports, the meeting moved on to public forum. Samir Al-Alami, a third-year political science major and a member of the elections committee addressed president-elect Gonzalez. Al-Alami stated that in his appeal last week, Gonzalez stated that the elections committee failed to abide by the elections code which resulted in his inability to remedy the violations when he had the chance. In reference to these comments, Al-Alami stated, “I am willing to acknowledge that me and my committee could have failed in some regards, but you have no sense of self-accountability.” Al-Alami then went on to state, “You denigrate the work of my committee and all the work that we have done. This degradation and derision proves to me that you cannot be my president and claim to represent me.”

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

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