Court: Williams gets new race

The verdicts are in for the three appeals trials in the spring elections.

Thursday, in the case of Chante Sessomes v. Electoral Commission, the Student Supreme Court ruled against Sessomes in the Senate Chambers.

After the court ordered the Electoral Commission on Monday to submit all ballots cast in the race of junior attendant for review, it found that Sessomes’ name was indeed clearly printed on each sophomore ballot.

Sessomes, 20, a second-year business student from Baltimore, said she is not disappointed with the outcome but feels there were too many inconsistencies with the electoral commission.”I’m glad it is over, and I’m not upset or disappointed,”

Sessomes said. “I just feel as though they need to train the Electoral Commission as well as the commissioners because when they are confirmed by the Senate all they do is memorize the constitution. They overall did a good job, but it was too many inconsistencies.”

In a four-page document posted outside the Senate Chambers, the verdicts and their explanations said the court relied on the principle theory of promissory estoppel in rendering a decision in the appeals case for the Mr. FAMU race. The court delivered a verdict in favor of plaintiff John Williams and ordered that Mr. FAMU race from spring 2007 election be rendered invalid. A new election is to be scheduled by the Electoral Commission.

During the trial, Williams 21, a senior agribusiness and history student from Baconton, Ga., argued that the Electoral Commission entered into a promissory agreement when it said he had made it into a runoff, and it breached that agreement on grounds of mistaken calculations.

The Electoral Commission admitted in public record and notified Williams of the need for a runoff, and Williams relied on that promise and prepared for a runoff election.

Williams said he was pleased with the outcome.

“I am excited to the utmost,” Williams said. “I want to give thanks to my attorney Kitwana Pounsel who defended me. I’m ready for work. I felt that justice was served, we presented what we had, the Supreme Court heard it, and we accomplished our goals.”

In the third hearing, Charles Manchion v. Electoral Commission, the ruling was in favor of the commission.

The reasoning given was in chapter 602.4 of the 2006 student body statues: “All ballots for primary elections shall have space for write-in candidate.”

The judicial branch found the language of the statute clear. According to the Supreme Court, it is the duty of the Electoral Commission to provide space for write-in candidates.

After the verdict from the Supreme Court, Manchion said he was disappointed, but feels the decision was out of his hands.

“I am secure in the will of God in my life,” said Manchion, 20, a sophomore political science student from Rochester, N.Y.

“Though initially the outcome was disappointing to me, not my will, but the Lord’s will be done.”