May 25th, 2010
01:23 PM ET
4 years ago

Tea Party activists try to oust senator, NJ Supreme court hears case

 Tea party activists and conservatives are hoping to oust New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez from office.
Tea party activists and conservatives are hoping to oust New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez from office.

Washington (CNN) - On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of New Jersey heard a case brought by Tea party activists and conservatives hoping to oust New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez from his job.

The state's highest court heard arguments from the New Jersey Tea Party Patriots, and other conservative groups, on whether or not voters can recall the Democratic senator, who has two years left in his term. Among those participating in the case is Richard Luzzi, President of the Morristown Tea Party and a Republican candidate for Congress.

The activists cite Menendez's votes for the recently passed health care law, and his support of government spending, as reasons to recall him.

"By recalling Senator Menendez we are saying No to insane spending that has brought our state and our nation to the brink of bankruptcy," a website for Recall NJ states.

Their arguments must clear a big hurdle: do voters in a state have the right to recall a federal elected official?

While New Jersey has a state law allowing for the recall of federal office holders, the U.S. Constitution does not.

The New Jersey Tea Party activists argue their efforts are legal, claiming that the Constitution does not prohibit New Jersey's recall law.

But lawyers for Menendez believe the suit won't pass Constitutional muster. They cite the U.S. Constitution's requirement that a senator serve six years in office.

Menendez's office is also blasting the key Tea Party group fueling the lawsuit.

"This organization rejoices in candidates who call it 'un-American' to hold major foreign corporations accountable for damage they cause and who believe discrimination by private businesses should be legal," Menendez Communications Director Afshin Mohamadi said in a statement to CNN.

"They are opposing the U.S. Constitution in court and they are opposing the values of mainstream New Jersey families in the court of public opinion," he added.


Filed under: New Jersey • Robert Menendez • Tea Party movement
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    You do have to admit that the baggers are the worst form of slime.

    May 25, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Red by Choice

    Um, I think they are just opposing Menendez and his voting record. All that other stuff Menendez just made up to cover his own A.

    May 25, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Jon

    Disgusting. The Tea Party lunatics should find another country to harass with their craziness.

    May 25, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Tulsa

    Did they ask to recall Bush? He borrowed a trillion and change from China to fund the war in Iraq and never paid for it, so what's the difference?

    May 25, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Sure why not? The GOP already used their connections in the 2000 elections to let the Supreme Court decide the elections. Nice to know 10 years later the Republicans still rely on cheating and using partisan courts to steal elections vs letting the people decide via legit means.

    May 25, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. Joseph

    This Tea Party effort is basically anarchy unleashed. Un-American period.

    May 25, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Donnatella

    I am no fan of Menendez but the NJ chapter of teabagger's is a joke, I wonder if they will help when the recall for Christie hits the court, yes I said Christie we are not happy with our bully governor and want him out, come November there will be a recall on the books for Governor Christie.!!!!!

    May 25, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. LLynch

    The Tea Party continues to promote any agenda likely to bring about the failure of the current administration. They are "swift-boaters" – pure and simple. These angry, narrow-minded activists are merely pawns of the right-wingers funding a semi-covert operation to help them regain control of our Nation – after almost destroying it during the Bush Administration. Hate is bad, but well-funded and organized hate is evil.

    May 25, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    "By recalling Senator Menendez we are saying No to insane spending that has brought our state and our nation to the brink of bankruptcy,"

    WOW – WASN'T BUSH SPENDING UNNECESSARY MONEY AND BROUGHT US INTO TWO WARS THAT WERE NOT PAID FOR??? New Jersey was BROKE before you elected your new governor who gave you promises that he would straightened everything out – Get him out of office because he is failing. Dang, STUPID is what STUPID does – is your state automatically going to get out of debt once you oust the Senator???????????

    AND – "...do voters in a state have the right to recall a federal elected official?"

    What IF all of the voters DO NOT AGREE???????????? Who in the HECK these Tea Partiers think they are???? OMG, the entire country DIED and left the Tea Partiers in charge.........................NOT!!!!!

    May 25, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. ray

    these racists are now over board. when will the smart americans wake up? here we have a some nut cases on the right wants to bring this country to its knees. these people should all be round up and sent to prison.

    May 25, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Former Republican

    These tea party people are CRAZY! Just because an elected representive votes differently than they prefer, they try to kick him out of office. This is starting to look like Nazi Germany instead of America.

    May 25, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Michael from Ventura

    It figures that the one making the most sense and the one pushing for action would be on the baggers hit list. Anything that is correct- they are against. The baggers are a disgrace to this country. They have taken a basic American concept and screwed it up to fit their beliefs. What else is new?

    May 25, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. fl

    If they can, then I'll start a campaign to recall all the republican office holders in my state.

    May 25, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. anthony

    Tea Party = Complain about spending 8 years too late.

    These people arent Patriots... theyre obstructionists.
    They are selective in whom they target and why, all the while using spending as theyre motive to protest.

    They need to wake up and realize that
    YES, AMERICA HAS CHANGED.
    It may not be their ideal dream or vision, but the world, much less the country, doesnt revolve around them.

    I PAY TAXES TOO, and this is MY HOME, TOO.

    May 25, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. katiec

    How in the world did something as ridiculous as this get to the Supreme Court?
    These people are extremists who will stop at nothing to destroy what our great country stands for and set back any accomplishments these last many years.
    Time for real Americans to speak out and let them know enough is enough and they do not represent us.

    May 25, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Brenda

    In the private business world..........If someone does not do the job that they were hired to do, they are fired.

    This should be the same for elected officials. They are hired by the citizens/voters--and they should be able to be fired as well.

    I hope that Robert Menendez is fired.

    May 25, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Hendrik

    What on earth is wrong with these Tea Baggers? They will end up being the most inconsequential party in the short history of our country. You can win on the surface but lasting change does not come this way. These idiots may win in the short term and they may get a chance in 2010 but when Americans find out they have been sold a bill of goods by these clowns, the fall will be harder and the Republican puppet masters will see the end to this experiment in nonsense. Remember there is more to winning elections. Then comes governing which is what Republicans and Tea Baggers are simply not capable of.

    May 25, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. JOhn

    Again, you had nothing to say when Bush was in office so only an idiot could take these t baggrs serioulsy.

    "you voted for health care and talk radio said that no body wanted it so you must go"

    This is rediculous and no serious court would even hear the case.

    May 25, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Ryan

    These idiots are amazing. So when someone supports whatever they have a right to support... that's grounds for firing them? Um... hello, if you Republicans want to live in such a controlled Republic then move to China... cuz that's what they are.

    May 25, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but

    Isn't that what elections are for? Whatever happened to ending frivolous lawsuits? Have a nice day!

    May 25, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. neonmadman

    Let's see the people of the state of New Jersey elect Mr Menendez as their senator. Mr Menendez does his job ( whether everyone agrees with him or not ). The teabaggers and wingnuts want a redo because he doesn't vote the way they like. What arrogance. And for his next trick the great teabaggo will petition god to change the color of the sky to red from blue to better reflect the republic party's attempt to take back their country. Why let a little thing like the U.S. Constitution stand in their way.

    May 25, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. ellid

    If there isn't a provision in state law, then the teabaggers should shut up and recruit a candidate for the next election. This way lies madness.

    May 25, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Nathaniel

    Question: Do voters in a state have the right to recall a federal elected official?

    Answer: No, in this case this is just another silly idea. If this had been a case of criminal activity, then I could consider. NOT VOTING HOW YOUR NICHE GROUP WANTS DOES NOT QUALITY!

    May 25, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Majorpbs

    These people really need to seek some help

    May 25, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. kf

    What is this country coming to? I guess when your dealing with the Republicans and the Tea Party it is an open field of stupidity. Where were they when Bush was in office and put us into the fix we are in now.

    May 25, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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