Boyer appeals disqualification to Student Court

Student Association Executive Vice President Kyle Boyer filed a complaint with the Student Court Monday, challenging his disqualification by the Joint Elections Committee from the runoff election for SA president.

Boyer claimed the JEC — the oversight body for SA elections — made an “arbitrary and capricious decision” to remove him from the runoff ballot.

During the general election, Boyer placed posters on a friend’s car and parked it on H Street in front of Kogan Plaza. Though Boyer did not have to pay for the use of his friend’s car, according to the JEC’s decision last Wednesday, Boyer was required to report the car’s fair market value in his expenditure report.

Because Boyer did not report the fair market value of the car — which the JEC determined to be the cost of renting a car for two days, or the entire duration of the general election — the JEC awarded violation points. After adding the cost for the use of the car onto his expenditure report — which cannot exceed $1,000 — Boyer’s total expenditure report totaled $1,090, pushing him over the limit and thus disqualifying him from the runoff election.

In the complaint, Boyer argued that the JEC’s determination of the fair market value of the car was “arbitrary and capricous” and resulted in “the accumulation of an excess of penalties, and the subsequent issuance of the Disqualification Order.”

In 1992, the Student Court heard a case where presidential candidate Christopher Ferguson alleged that the JEC made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision to hand out ballots only to first-year students in the law and medical schools, but not to any other students.

Though Ferguson lost his case, the court has at times used Ferguson v. JEC as precedent that it would review decisions of the JEC only if they are in fact arbitrary and capricious. In 2007, the court cited the precedent in Cohen v. JEC. The court found that the JEC made an arbitrary and capricious decision to disqualify a senator-elect, Matt Cohen. The court overturned the disqualification, which was concerning the sharing an expenditure among multiple candidates. The cited precedent:

To reiterate Ferguson v. Joint Election Committee, the Student Court is not a “higher JEC” and it should only overturn decisions using the arbitrary and capricious standard.

The Ferguson and Cohen decisions can be found on the court’s Web site. Boyer’s complaint is attached here as a PDF. The court has yet to decide whether to hear the case.

Our most recent coverage on Boyer’s removal from the runoff is here.  The runoff is scheduled for March 25 and 26.

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