Dallas County District Judge Eric Moyé added insult to injury late Monday for the county's Republican Party. Having already dismissed the Dallas County GOP's attempt to keep dozens of Democrats off the November ballot, Moyé ordered the party to pay more than $50,000 in attorneys' fees to Democrats and their lawyers.
Moyé dismissed the lawsuit, officially brought by Dallas County GOP Chairwoman Missy Shorey, in late April, ruling that Shorey did not have standing to challenge whether the Dallas County Democratic Party had properly filed many of its ballot applications because Shorey was not on the ballot.
After his April 23 ruling, Moyé asked both sides to file briefs as to whether he should award the Democrats attorneys' fees. The Dallas GOP failed to do so in the next two weeks, so Moyé ordered the group to pay up. Shorey told the Observer on Monday night that the ruling is further evidence that Moyé, a Democrat, should've recused himself from the case.
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"The fact that the judge has ruled before we've even provided our materials proves that once again, there's a problem with being objective," Shorey said. "We are deeply concerned about objectivity in [Moyé's] case and feel that justice needs to be served."
Dallas Democrats believe Shorey's suit, which claimed that Dallas County Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Donovan failed to personally sign more than 100 ballot applications, as required by state election law, was an attempt to disenfranchise the county's Democratic and minority voters. After Moyé's initial decision, Donovan said that the party was eager to move past the lawsuit and focus on November.
"We are delighted to have this matter behind us," Donovan said. "This decision insures that democracy has been protected. Democrats will not be divided or distracted. We will continue to defend the rights of voters to choose their elected officials at the ballot box."
Shorey and the Dallas County GOP have yet to decide whether they will appeal the lawsuit's dismissal.