GSB Supreme Court rules Snell not eligible to debate


Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Dail

GSB election commissioner Adam Guenther speaks during GSB court on Feb. 26, 2014 in the Gerdin Building. Guenther was sued by GSB presidential candidate Barry Snell after being told he could not debate without 500 signatures.

Emelie Knobloch

The Government of the Student Body Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Adam Guenther and the election commission in the Barry Snell v. Adam Guenther case.

The final vote from the GSB Supreme Court was 7-0 in favor of Guenther. The hearing for the case took place on Wednesday night.

“The actions taken by the Election Commissioner were sensibly correlated to the reasonable interest of maintaining the order and integrity of the GSB elections,” stated the opinion given by the court.

The opinion of the court also stated that upon failure to provide the designated number of signatures, it was the interpretation of Guenther that Snell was no longer distinguished as a serious and formal candidate in the GSB presidential election.

Those interested in being placed on the ballot for GSB president must submit 500 signatures.

“Due to failure on the part of the petitioner [Snell] to follow through with this final requirement, their classification as formal and serious candidates shall be revoked,” said the opinion of the court.

The court’s opinion also states that Snell is allowed to attend the debate this evening, but only as an audience member.

“Mr. Snell will not be permitted to participate in tonight’s presidential debate,” said Spencer Hughes, GSB President.

Richard Martinez, who was also running for GSB president, also did not submit the 500 signatures needed to be a formal candidate. Martinez will not be allowed to debate in the presidential debate either.

“Mostly, I’m disappointed with the fact that they didn’t allow either my counsel or Mr. Guenther to actually present an oral argument before the justices began their questioning,” Snell said of the hearing for the case that took place Wednesday night.

Snell said he does stand by the court’s decision. 

“I have worked with the court in the past,” Snell said. “I’m not going to turn my back on them now over something so minor and not personal.”

Guenther said he is very pleased with the result.

“I am glad that this distraction has been fairly and appropriately dealt with and that democracy and justice have prevailed,” Guenther said.

The 2014 GSB presidential debate will be between candidates Hillary Kletscher and Khayree Fitten at 6 p.m. tonight in the Cardinal Room in the Memorial Union.