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Published: Thursday, 1/13/2005

Anti-Bush lawsuit dismissed by Moyer

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a lawsuit that partisan activists filed to contest the Nov. 2 presidential election results in Ohio.

The move by Thomas Moyer came a day after attorneys - who had accused President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and White House strategist Karl Rove of stealing Ohio's 20 electoral votes from Democrat John Kerry - asked for their lawsuit to be dismissed.

Cliff Arnebeck, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of 37 voters, said the challenge no longer was a "productive effort" because Congress on Jan. 6 certified Mr. Bush's re-election. Mr. Bush carried Ohio over Mr. Kerry by 118,599, according to amended official results.

Mr. Arnebeck said: "If the court looked at this as something that was an important provision of Ohio law and the issues raised were in the public interest, the court would have called the parties together and said to them, 'We have a lot of work to do in a short period of time.' Instead, we have a court saying, 'Here are the problems and they're all moot.'‚óŹ"

Also yesterday, Justice Maureen O'Connor dismissed the lawsuit that Mr. Arnebeck filed contesting Chief Justice Moyer's victory over Democrat C. Ellen Connelly.

Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, said Mr. Arnebeck and his allies seemed "awfully eager to cut and run."

"They wanted nothing more than to make a political statement; so they manipulated the courts, obstructed the electoral process, and wasted valuable tax dollars to grandstand their myths and conspiracies," Mr. Bennett said.

- James Drew



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