Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Court rules that Kansas Democrats don't have to pick a new Senate candidate

Kansas Democrats will not be forced to name a new candidate for Senate in the state's hotly contested race between Republican incumbent Pat Roberts and independent challenger Greg Orman, a state court ruled Wednesday afternoon.

The three-judge panel initially had difficulty at its hearing on Monday, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports. The man who filed the lawsuit itself, David Orel, did not show up, instead only sending an attorney to argue the case. This left the judges discussing whether to throw the case out immediately — but they instead chose to hear arguments, and issued their ruling today deciding the case.

Of course, it is unclear exactly how a political party can be forced to select a candidate for an election after they've already won a court order to remove their old nominee from the ballot. The court previously ruled on Monday that Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach — who lost an earlier legal battle at the state Supreme Court to try to prevent the Democratic nominee Chad Taylor from dropping out in the first place — could not intervene to also become a party in this new challenge.

Yet another new poll out today shows Orman in the lead, as the anti-Roberts vote has coalesced behind him in a state that has only sent Republicans to the Senate since the 1930s.