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State high court upholds Romanelli ruling

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court opinion that removed Green Party member Carl Romanelli from the ballot for U.S. Senate, Romanelli said.

He planned a vigorous appeal, but is saddled with mounting legal fees.

“(The state Supreme Court) essentially denied me the opportunity to present my evidence, testimony and defense,” he said. “So the same basic cornerstones of justice that murders and terrorists get, as far as due process, were not allowed to me. … I certainly am nobody’s dog to be kicked like this.”

Romanelli plans to appeal on grounds that his due process rights and his “constitutional right to defend myself in court” were violated.

But first, there’s the matter of finances. He said he owes around $100,000 to his lawyer, but the lower court opinion also left him owing roughly $900,000 in legal fees. About $90,000 is court costs, he said, and the rest is owed to lawyers for Bob Casey Jr., the state treasurer and Democratic hopeful for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s seat.

Romanelli also plans to appeal that decision.

He believes he was unfairly treated because Casey’s lawyers were given an opportunity to amend their challenge to signatures Romanelli gathered to get his name on the ballot, but he wasn’t given an opportunity to defend those signatures.

He said it seemed like the state judicial system was telling him, “It’s too late; you’re off the ballot. And by the way, for fighting this so long, you’re responsible for all fees and costs.”

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