The spring 2012-election appeals cases can no longer be heard in front of Florida A&M’s Student Supreme Court as of Thursday evening.
Associate Justice, Jocelyn Oliver, a senior business administration student from Lake Butler, Fla., resigned at 6 p.m. Thursday right before court proceedings were to begin in the McCorvey /Williams’s trial.
Due to Oliver’s resignation, the Supreme Court does not have enough members to meet “quorum’ and all contesting parties must now appeal at the next appeal level with the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean Henry L. Kirby.
As stated in the System of Student Body Statues, “In the event that all of the justices cannot attend or sit during a trial, at least five justices must be present in order to attain quorum. A trial cannot be heard in the absence of quorum.”
Kirby now has the power to either uphold the Electoral Commission’s decision or decide in favor of the appealing parties.
The Supreme Court as of now sits with only four members.
Active Chief Justice, Louis Jean-Baptiste, a third year political science student from Palm Beach; Chris Williams, a fourth year public relations student from Jacksonville; Patrick Mckiethen a chemistry and philosophy student from Miami and Edmond Baker, a senior business administration student also from Miami, are the only remaining members in the Supreme Court.
Oliver states the reason for resigning from the Supreme Court in her hand delivered resignation letter.
“It is with great respect for the Student Body Statutes and Student Body Constitution that I tender my resignation… the disregard for the two aforementioned documents and the regulations which they govern our actions has caused me great concern,” said Oliver.
Oliver references the pre-trial hearing of Anthony and Sean Siders where she agrees with defense, SGA Attorney General Darryl Gordon.
“Attorney General, Darryl Gordon brought to the attention of the Court that the trials for the two pending court cases against the electoral commission cannot be heard because the time period to hear such cases has expired, “said Oliver in her letter addressed to the Acting Chief Justice, Louis Jean-Baptiste.
Both Darryl Gordon, a third year political science student from Sanford, Fla., and Oliver reference Chapter 404.1 of the Student Body Statues that states, ” For the sake of brevity, (e.g., elections violations, whereby speedy trial is needed), all SGA trials shall be scheduled within three full working days after the offense has been filed with the SGA Supreme Court.”
Oliver cites the dates she believes shows that the Supreme Court is in violation of this statue.
” Both appeals were in turned in on Wednesday, Feb. 22,2012 and Thursday Feb.23, 2012 In recognition that the allotted and explicitly stated time periods have expired, the court is no longer in a position to adjudicate these matters because the powers given to us by the Student Body Documents are no longer applicable,” said Oliver.
“We initiated hearings on Monday, which shows we meet the three day requirement of the statutes,” said Jean-Baptiste in response to Oliver’s Resignation.
“She was a good Justice; I respect her as a person but professionally, I don’t think her decision was up to par,” said Jean-Baptiste.
Evan Bailey, a first year business administration student from Kansas City, MO, who is representing the McCorvey/Williams ticket in this case, is preparing to file an appeal with Kirby.
“We’re just happy it’s moving on to the next level. We’re confident that Dean Kirby will decide in favor of the plaintiffs, Justin McCorvey and Ariana Williams,” said Bailey, after receiving the news from the Supreme Court.
Lucas Melton, a senior political science student from Columbus, GA. and Jamaal Rose, a senior political science major from Tallahassee, who represents the Siders ticket, will also file an appeal with Kirby.
“We have faith that we will receive the due process owed to each student no matter who presides over the matter. If not we will continue to contest the SGA Election results to the fullest extent the law allows,” said Melton.
The appealing parties have their hearings left to Kirby.