The ACLU-NH Lawsuit Versus Secretary of State Bill Gardner: Is Sununu Just Playing “Matador Defense”?

The phrase “matador defense” refers to basketball players who do not put much effort into playing defense.  Defense is played with your feet in basketball.  Matador defense occurs when the defensive player makes a great show of waving his arms, but doesn’t move his feet and the offensive player dribbles right past.

These tweets have me concerned that Governor Sununu and his Attorney General are planning on putting on only a “matador defense” against the ACLU-NH’s lawsuit against Bill Gardner, which as I discussed in detail here is intended to prevent New Hampshire from participating in President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity:
So apparently, without even seeing the decision, Sununu has already ruled out an appeal.  This is significant because the odds highly favor the case being heard by a Democrat-appointed judge who will not rule based on the law -which as I discussed here requires that the lawsuit be dismissed because the plaintiffs lack standing– but based on his or her political inclinations -that is, in favor of the ACLU-NH.

Stated slightly more succinctly, even though there is a significant chance that the lawsuit will be heard by an activist judge who will ignore the law and rule in the ACLU-NH’s favor, Sununu has already taken an appeal off the table.  The appeal would be to essentially the same supreme court that relatively recently vacated a similar attempt by the ACLU-NH to set policy (the Duncan vs. State of New Hampshire case) for lack of standing – discussed here.

If this is the plan, it is strikingly cynical.  Sununu would get to tell the GOP grassroots that he tried to work with President Trump’s commission, while at the same time give the GOP establishment who hate Trump an I’ve-got-your-back wink-and-nod, while at the same time disposing of a potential Democrat line of attack against him in the 2018 election.

Watch the Attorney General’s response to the lawsuit for more indication of whether Sununu and the Attorney General are playing “matador defense.”  If the Attorney General does not press the standing issue and seek to have the case dismissed, then it’s:

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