Tennessee Ballot Access Bills Set for Legislative Hearings

Committees in both houses of the Tennessee legislature will hear the bills to ease ballot access on March 28, Tuesday. The Senate State and Local Government Committee will hear SB 770, and the House Local Government Subcommittee will hear HB 662. The bills are identical and lower the number of signatures for a newly-qualifying party from 33,816 signatures to 5,000.

Utah Governor Signs Bill for Presidential Primaries

On March 22, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 204, which provides for presidential primaries in future presidential election years. This probably means that in 2020, Utah will hold presidential primaries for one or several qualified minor parties, something that has never occurred before. Utah held presidential primaries in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but only for the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Illinois Libertarian Candidates Win Federal Lawsuit Against Law Making it Illegal for Medical Marijuana Groups to Contribute to Candidates

On March 24, U.S. District Court Judge John Z. Lee, an Obama appointee, struck down a 2013 Illinois campaign finance law that makes it illegal for any medical cannibis cultivation center or dispensary organization to make a campaign contribution to a candidate for state or local office. Ball v Madigan, n.d., 1:15cv-10441. The decision is 22 pages.

The only two plaintiffs are Claire Ball, the Libertarian nominee for state Comptroller in 2016, and Scott Schluter, the Libertarian nominee for State House, 117th district, in 2016. Schluter was not on the ballot because of Illinois severe ballot access requirements for candidates for the legislature. Thanks to Benjamin Barr for this news.