On Monday January 14, Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson ruled in favor of Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich to be able to enter the televised MSNBC debate, airing on Tuesday night.
Congressman Kucinich is considered to be a long shot in the debate and his name isn't even on the ballot in some states. MSNBC had initally extended an invitation to Kucinich several weeks ago to participate in the debate. However, since Kucinich is no longer a factor in the Democratic primary, MSNBC had planned on having the top 3 Democratic candidates only in the debate: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. Last week MSNBC had told Kucinich that he could not participate in the debate. Kucinich responded by filing a grievance with the District Court judge in Nevada.
Judge Thompson ruled in favor of Kucinich, citing fairness as the main reason why Kucinich should be allowed to participate in the debate. Judge Thompson also stated that Kucinich's opinions could benefit voters by bringing a new prospective and different issues to the forefront during the table. While most of the would-be Democratic presidential candidates have dropped out like Chris Dodd, Joseph Biden and Bill Richardson, Kucinich has refused to drop out of the race.
Kucinich's court stunt isn't the first time he has appealed to the courts for help. After the New Hampshire primary he stated in his press conference that he wanted a recount of New Hampshire to make sure that all the votes were counted. His request was subsequently denied.
MSNBC has responded to Judge Thompson's ruling by saying that they will file an immediate appeal to prevent Kucinich from entering the debate. In Judge Thompson's ruling, he had threatened to issue an injunction against MSNBC if Kucinich was not allowed to partake in the debate.
The MSNBC debate will be hosted by Tim Russert and Brian Williams.