Thursday, September 18, 2008 By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News AUSTIN – Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr is forcing a legal showdown in the Texas Supreme Court to keep the names of Barack Obama and John McCain off the November ballot. The issue is whether both parties missed a state deadline to certify the names of their presidential and vice presidential candidates for the ballot. The attorney general is arguing the law was followed and that the secretary of state has discretion on the ballot and its appearance. Mr. Barr personally filed an emergency request before the court on Thursday, asking that the state be ordered not to mail ballots overseas this weekend until the issue is legally resolved. The Libertarians are contending that the Democratic and Republican nominees are disqualified from appearing on the ballot because they missed the state’s Aug. 26 deadline to certify candidates. During the national conventions, Mr. Obama was not voted as the nominee until Aug. 27 and Mr. McCain claimed the GOP nomination on Sept. 3. No one can legally certify something that has not yet happened, Mr. Barr argued. In addition, Sarah Palin was not named to the GOP ticket until Aug. 29 and so it would be impossible to certify her name by the deadline. The Libertarians claim that both major parties knew of the late conventions and did not go to either the Legislature or the courts to seek a remedy. The Texas Supreme Court has refused to dismiss the case outright and has asked all parties to file their response to the lawsuit by Monday. Part of the legal basis for the suit is Bush vs. Gore, by which the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the clearly expressed intent of the egislature must prevail,” and that election laws must be uniformly applied and interpreted. “Sound familiar Mr. Bush? Sound familiar Republicans?” Mr. Barr said, adding that the state law is unambiguous. - - - - - - - - Hmmm. I wonder whether he'll get anything more than some press out of this. I'm sure Obama would not object to a compromise keeping both major parties off the Texas ballot, as that's usually 34 electoral votes for the GOP. And McCain statistically has no chance of winning unless he carries Texas.