May 25th, 2010
01:23 PM ET
10 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. Liz the First

    The teabaggers are officially insane! they want to recall a senator for voting to help the American people simply because they don't like his votes. this proves they have no respect for our form of government. if everyone who didn't like an elected official's vote sought to recall them over it, the result would be chaos and a complete collapse of our government. one wonders if that's not what they're actually after. and they're such incredible hypocrites! all this new-found 'anger' at government spending was nowhere to be seen when King George the Lesser was practically bankrupting this country with two wars he didn't even include in the budget and tax cuts for the super-rich. now they're angry and screaming when we have a black president who's actually working to help average Americans and having to spend more than he would want to clean up the horrible mess left by their 'president.'

    May 25, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. FactCheck

    The NJ teabaggers make the cast of the Jersey Shore look like Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein.

    May 25, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. wayne

    If the state has the law, then the state has the law. California recalled Gray Davis, and look how well things there turned out.

    May 25, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Josi

    Oh these tea-baggers of full of it – let's go recall all the Republos – let's recall Leiberman, let's recall Palin – Oh wait she already quit to cash in – let's go back in time and recall Reagan who committed treason and sold weapons to the Iranians and sent the money to the Contras – let's recall the Tea Baggers let's recall them for what they are – LIARS – let's recall Rand Paul, Let's recall that crazy freak in Arizona – the Gov. – and a side note -where is the news media? – they need to be clamoring / knocking down McCain's door daily to get sound byte quotes on what his take on the AZ Gov – he should be made to clarify his support or not for this crazy Gov.

    May 25, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. haren

    Let us recall governor Chris Christie.

    May 25, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Whatever

    OMG what drugs are these people smoking?! He was and is doing his j o b – – I can't believe NJ's highest court would even hear the case. If this happens then every Democrat and/or Independent should join a class action suit to get every GOPer removed for voting NO on everything. Obstructing is not doing what you were elected to do. If they have better ideas – – put them on the table and in the press otherwise SHUT UP and STOP THE MADNESS!!!!!

    May 25, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Bobbie in Maryland

    This has got tro be the STUPIDIST thing I've ever heard...even from the Tea Party!

    May 25, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Constance Tardy

    Tea Party? Not worth a comment.

    May 25, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. tcaudilllg

    Take it to those madmen, Robert!

    May 25, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. DIANA

    They shouldn't be called activists, they should be called terrorists.

    So if you lose an election, you're just going to recall the winner. The people elected him. If you don't like him, find somebody who you think could beat him next election, though I doubt it.

    May 25, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Thank God I am a Democrat

    This is the craziest thing I have heard yet from the Teabaggers. First off he was elected by majority rule for 4 years. Second according to this all he did was vote in favor of things they oppose. What a bunch of spoiled brats. They don't get their way so they think they can just recall the vote of the majority. Why don't they go recall all those repubs that are caught up in the sex scandals? We already know why. When will the rest of us stand up to these idiots and make it clear they don't speak for us. I believe that this is there new tactic becaue they are realizing they do not have enough of a following to do it the right way which is at a voters booth.

    May 25, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Megan

    The Tea Party members are the biggest bunch of hypocrits I have ever seen!

    They only want to protect the Constitution when it favors thier small minded and ignorant agendas!

    What a total joke...history will show thier true agenda. Racism, ignorance and intolerance.

    May 25, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Marie (Portland, Oregon)

    We can only hope the Supreme Court of New Jersey takes a moment to point out what a complete waste of time and resources this type of lawsuit is for the judicial system. If every senator could be recalled based on a vote it would lead to chaos in Congress.

    May 25, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Molly Weasley

    Short answer - no.
    Long answer - no, and no again.

    Read the U.S. constitutions, idiots, and not just the parts you happen to like. Go waste your money somewhere else, and stop wasting taxpayer money on idiotic lawsuits.

    May 25, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Dave

    Interesting how the tea bagger's (and conservatives in general) talk about embracing the Constitution and the rule of law. That is, of course, until the second it doesn't suit their purposes.

    Menendez is an elected offical who did nothing illegal. Unfortunately, these tea bagging idiots seem to think that elections don't matter. Then again, these "un-Americans" are nothing more than a bunch of sore losers with no ideas, no brains, no shame, and no principles.

    May 25, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. David

    This is idiotic. While the Tea Partiers disagree with how Senator Menendez votes, they are not the majority. There are people who voted for menendez and do not share the views of tea partiers. Does that make them less of a citizen? Does that mean their votes doesn't count. The idea that one fringe group feels justified to recall an elected official all because he does not vote along the same views and theirs, is just IDIOTIC.

    May 25, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Moosehead

    These Teabuggers are something else. They keep demanding,.. like they have a monopoly on rightousness. You don't like the way things are being run? ..Lump it. Get your Party elected and change things,... don't go making demands, when you have ZERO power.

    May 25, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Dano

    So this small group who claims to speak for everyone now wants to recall an elected senator because he voted for something they didn't like? These tea baggers are totally insane. I'd use an expletive before insane but then CNN wouldn't be able to post my comment.

    May 25, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. ja

    did these teabaggers have their heads in the sand severals years ago, or is this called the age of enlightment or flat foot racist, no outrage during the Bush era then you must wait with your heads in the sand

    May 25, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Tea Party Idiots

    The more these clown flap their jaws, the dumber they seem.
    Keep them jaws-a-flappin' and run Palin in 2012.

    May 25, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    Hopefully after the are successfully finished with Menendez, they can start with that thief Obama.

    May 25, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Sgt. USMC

    Yeah, recall the guy for wanting to provide health care to millions of Americans who see health care as a luxury instead of a necessity. Blame him for supporting legislation that kept us from complete financial ruin.

    The tea party is walking along the same lines as the birthers. When they said they wanted to take the country back I didn't know they meant back to the crucible on a witch-hunt.

    As much as I would like to see these people go away forever, I would rather they stay because they will influence the 2010 elections. People are going to be motivated to vote for candidates who the tea-rs do not support.

    Democrats will kick behind in 2010 thanks to the simple minded teabaggers.

    May 25, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. DJ in TX

    This is absolutely stupid. You don't recall someone for how they vote on a particular policy. He did nothing wrong according to the law. It NJ does not agree, then vote him out. Why don't all Democratic organizations start lawsuits to recall conservatives for how they vote? What makes it worse is that the rival candidate is involved in this. If this is the only way he can win, vs. convincing voters his way is better, then he doesn't deserve to be in office.

    Also, the story is not complete. How have the lower courts voted? One can only assume, the Tea Party did not win in lower courts.

    May 25, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. Realistic

    The Tea Party are desperate for power and will do anything and everything they can to get their way. Maybe we as Americans label TP a terrorist group..Ok just joking, just as is their lawsuit.

    May 25, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Chandler01

    This lawsuit doesn't address whether the people of NJ want to use their tax dollars to fund a special election campaign, when their Senator only has 2 years left. The Tea Party is so rabid to complain about anything, no matter how illogical their position is. Mohamadi makes great points!

    May 25, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
1 2 3 4