In Kansas' amazing U.S. Senate race, the stage was set for the Kansas Supreme Court to have the final say. Chad Taylor (D) terminated his campaign weeks ago and wants off the ballot; brazenly partisan Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) hopes to boost incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R) by forcing Taylor to say on the ballot.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Democratic Senate candidate's name be removed from the ballot ahead of November's election. [...]
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach ... ruled that Taylor couldn’t withdraw his name from the ballot, citing a state law that requires candidates to be “incapable” of serving if they wish to withdraw from a race. The court settled the matter Thursday.
“[Kobach] shall not include Taylor’s name on any ballots for the office of United States Senate for the general election on November 4, 2014,” Judge Michael J. Malone wrote to conclude his ruling.
The entirety of the ruling, which featured no dissent, is online here (pdf). There is no additional appeal.
The panic within GOP circles is understandable. Polls show Roberts, an unpopular, longtime incumbent, with a vastly better chance of success if his opposition is divided between Taylor and Independent Greg Orman. With Taylor out, Orman is fairly well positioned to win the seat.
But the story isn't done just yet. Secretary of State Kobach, who said the matter had to be resolved by last night in order to prepare state ballots, magically discovered late yesterday that he could extend the deadline another eight days. To what end? As the Republican official sees it, Kansas Democrats can now be required to choose a replacement candidate to take Taylor's slot on the ballot.
Kobach really isn't making much of an effort to conceal his partisan agenda here. That said, this latest maneuver probably won't work, either.
Dave Helling, political reporter for the Kansas City Star, talks with Rachel Maddow about the Kansas Supreme Court ruling against Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach to allow Democrat Chad Taylor off the senate ballot. watch
Alastair Jamieson, NBC News digital journalist reports live from Scotland as votes for and against independence are being counted and discusses whether a late push by the "no" campaign will be enough to keep the United Kingdom united. watch
Matt Wells, U.S. blogs and networks editor at the Guardian, talks with Rachel Maddow about how Scotland's independence vote is likely to affect British politics even if separatists are not successful with this evening's vote. watch
New Jersey state representative John Wisniewski talks with Rachel Maddow about a leak from a federal source to WNBC that the federal investigation of New Jersey traffic lane closures has turned up no wrongdoing by Governor Chris Christie. watch
Rachel Maddow reports on some of the early returns in the Scottish vote on independence from the United Kingdom, noting that the early success of "no" voters is not an encouraging sign for separatists. watch
Rachel Maddow reports on the Senate's passage of expanding the training of Syrian rebels, and points out the abject dereliction by Congress to give itself more months off without addressing the war on ISIS while the U.S. military continues the fight. watch
House just announced they're taking off tomorrow, and the whole rest of Sept. And all of Oct. And the first half of Nov. Now *that's* a job.
* Another ISIS video: "ISIS released a propaganda video showing a captive British photojournalist promising to illuminate 'the truth' behind the militants' network and criticizing his government and the United States. John Cantlie, a photographer who worked for Britain's Sunday Times, was taken captive by militants in Syria alongside GlobalPost's James Foley nearly two years ago."
* The future of Scotland: "With the future of the United Kingdom in the balance, Scottish voters streamed to polling booths on Thursday at the culmination of a spirited, emotional and divisive campaign that will determine whether they maintain their union with the rest of Britain or secede."
* Historic address: "Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday called on Congress to provide more help to combat the pro-Russian rebels that have taken over eastern parts of the country, saying the incursion is not just an assault on Ukraine but all of the free world."
* Related news: "Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told reporters following a meeting with President Obama on Thursday he was 'satisfied' with the military assistance offered by the U.S., despite the administration declining his call for lethal aid to Ukraine's military."
* Nigeria: "Boko Haram insurgents have been blamed after at least 13 people died during a shoot-out between police and suspected suicide bombers at a teacher training college in northern Nigeria."
* A good policy working well: "The number of privately-insured women getting no-cost birth control pills has more than quadrupled under Obamacare, new data from the Guttmacher Institute shows. The new research, published in the journal Contraception, shows the percent of privately-insured women who paid nothing for the pill rose from 15 percent in the fall of 2012 up to 67 percent this spring."
* What a strange Beltway story: "President Obama has 'strong confidence' in Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the White House said Thursday after a report suggested that the Florida congresswoman had fallen out of favor with the president and top Democratic lawmakers."
* I wish I could make this stuff up, but it's real: "Obama's arrogance is so apparent, according to Gingrich, that it can even be seen in the way he golfs -- and it will doom the final years of his presidency, in the end."