Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt won’t touch the lawsuit from a Massachusetts performance artist and political challenger who wants to put his prolific pony agenda back on the ballot.
Schmidt said Vermin Supreme’s lawsuit “has no merit” but must be taken seriously. With Supreme angling for Schmidt’s job, the A.G. said he will avoid any conflict of interest by hiring outside legal counsel to defend the state.
Supreme filed the lawsuit Friday, complaining that the State Objections Board engaged in a politically motivated scheme to kick him off the ballot just because he doesn’t live in Kansas.
“Unfortunately, because this late-hour filing has the potential to disrupt the orderly conduct of the Kansas primary election by interfering with the timely production and handling of ballots throughout the state — and particularly with ballots for military personnel — it must be taken seriously,” Schmidt said.
Marc Randazza, an attorney for Supreme, said it was obvious the elections board made up its mind to block Supreme before the hearing. Kansas law contains no residency requirement for statewide office, Randazza said, and the proper legal analysis is anything left out of law was done so intentionally.
“What were they so afraid of?” Randazza said. “Were they really afraid Vermin Supreme would get the Republican nomination for the attorney general of the state of Kansas?”
He also said Schmidt’s statement about the lawsuit had a “schoolyard tone to it,” and that he would enjoy seeing Schmidt “eat that press release.”
“It’s unfortunate that the attorney general of the state of Kansas has such a dim view of due process,” Randazza said.
If placed back on the ballot, Supreme would challenge Schmidt for the A.G.’s office in the Aug. 7 Republican primary. His platform calls for providing a free pony to every resident and mandatory tooth-brushing laws.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Brant Laue, chief counsel for the governor’s office, eliminated Supreme from contention in a 2-0 vote on June 11. Schmidt sent a proxy who abstained from voting on the matter.
Supreme’s complaint was filed in federal court in Wichita. A hearing hasn’t been scheduled.
“I am hopeful the federal court will quickly reject this lawsuit without disrupting the state’s August election or contributing to unnecessary cost,” Schmidt said.
Randazza said he and Supreme weren’t responsible for the cost.
“They’re spending Kansas taxpayer money because of their own arrogance,” he said.