Beech is wasting the Supreme Court’s time

Activate Party presidential candidate Cameron Beech’s decision to appeal an ASUU Elections Committee ruling to the ASUU Supreme Court is – at its best – a frivolous waste of ASUU resources.

The Elections Committee ruled Tuesday that, by sending a party memo to The Chronicle, Beech violated election rules. As punishment, the Elections Committee prohibited Beech and his running mate Ryan Carrier from actively campaigning on the first day of dialogue week.

Associated Students of the University of Utah Supreme Court Justice Nicola Saliendra said if someone thinks an Elections Committee ruling is unjust, “it is their right to have a full hearing.”

Yes, it is a right, but it shouldn’t be used every time a candidate doesn’t like what the Elections Committee has to say. During elections, the court should only be used in cases where the committee has delivered a punishment too harsh for the given circumstances.

A perfect example of when to use the Supreme Court happened in the 2001 student elections. The Innovation Party was removed from the ballot by the Elections Committee for incorrectly listing the price of donated ice cream on their expenditure records. This punishment was obviously too harsh and was appealed to the Supreme Court who overturned the ruling.

It is an abuse of the court’s purpose, however, to convene for each and every slap on the wrist. Beech feels that the committee decision constitutes censorship, and in taking the matter to the court he believes the decision against him and Carrier will be overruled.

But Beech and Carrier will be lucky if the court doesn’t punish them even more harshly for what they have done.

The article regarding the Activate memo (“Beech reaches out to fellow student body president candidates”), published in The Chronicle on Jan. 16, was full of Beech patting himself on the back for being the good guy by sending memos out regarding the transparency of his party.

The only transparency here is the crystal-clear motive behind their memo – publicity. They got to look like the nice boys next door on the front page of a newspaper thousands of voting students read every day. If that isn’t actively campaigning for the betterment of a party, what is?

In addition to disregarding the rules, they put the other candidates – whom they claimed to care about – at a disadvantage. No other party got to have an article about them printed on the front page of The Chronicle.

Beech and Carrier deserve the little slap on the wrist that they got, but instead of sucking it up and taking it like decent people, they are going to waste the resources of election officials who have better things to do with their time.

As Special Prosecutor Zan Larsen so eloquently said, “Ignorance of the election rules will not, in any circumstances, constitute a defense.”

Beech and Carrier were wrong for sending out the memo and their supposed ignorance will not save them.

If anything, the Supreme Court could, and should – given the circumstances – give them a more harsh punishment.

Beech and Carrier should take a note from Larsen by revoking the submission of their case to the Supreme Court, and taking the punishment – which is rightfully theirs – like the good boys next door that they claim to be.