Michigan Supreme Court keeps The Tea Party off Nov. ballot

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Friday that "The Tea Party" will not appear on the state's November ballot, a ruling cheered by conservative Tea Partiers who called the group and its nominations a ploy by Democrats to take votes away from Republicans.

The Detroit News reported Thursday that The Tea Party, which had nominated 23 candidates for offices including from secretary of state, attorney general, state House and Senate seats, and congressional seats, had ties to Democrats.

One candidate put forth by The Tea Party was the former stepmother of the former leader of the Oakland County Democratic Party, and another had placed last in a 2008 Democratic primary. 

The revalations forced the resignation of the Oakland County Democratic Party chairman and the firing of a country Democratic organizer. The state of Michigan is investigating, and the state Democratic Party claims no ties to The Tea Party ballot effort.

The Detroit News reported "the majority opinion stated the justices were 'not persuaded' the group should appear on the ballot." The ruling was 5-2.

"We are definitely pleased that the scam that was being perpetrated has been stopped," John Pirich, an attorney for tea party groups around the state, told the News. "We also hope that the investigation into this activity proceeds as expeditiously as possible."