On April 20, the Florida Secretary of State acknowledged that the Independent Party is again a qualified party. On February 20, 2017, the Secretary of State had revoked the party’s status because of tiny technical flaws in its financial reports.
The party re-filed. It now has the same status that it did last year, except that because the party ceased to be recognized for a few months, the state changed the voter registration records of all the party’s members so that it doesn’t now have any members, except for a few individuals who re-registered into the party on April 20-21. Thanks to Ernie Bach for this news.
U.S. District Judge William Zloch will hold oral arguments in Wilding v Democratic National Committee Services, s.d. Florida, 0:16cv-61511, on Tuesday, April 25, at 1:30 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale. This is the case filed on June 28, 2016, by some supporters of Bernie Sanders. They complain that the Democratic national committee broke its own neutrality rules during the 2016 contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. The party is trying to persuade the judge that the plaintiffs lack standing.
On April 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, heard Gary Johnson et al v Commission on Presidential Debates, 16-7107. The two judges who spoke gave both sides a tough time. The oral argument, which lasted 34 minutes, can be heard at this link. The three judges were Laurence Silberman, Cornelia Pillard, and Janice Rogers Brown. Only the two first-named judges asked questions and made comments.
The attorney for the Commission on Presidential Debates, near the 21-minute mark, made the statement that when candidates get on the ballot in states containing a majority of the electoral college, that does not mean they have any popular support whatever. He said all getting on the ballot in states with a majority of the electoral college only shows that they are well-organized and have some financial resources. This may be true, but it contradicts all the ballot access jurisprudence. The U.S. Supreme Court, in all its ballot access cases, has always taught that the ability to complete petitions is a means for knowing how much popular support the candidate or party has.
The attorney for the Commission on Presidential Debates also said that if Gary Johnson and Jill Stein want relief, they should ask the Federal Election Commission for relief, and if the FEC won’t give such relief (which, so far, it won’t), then they should sue the FEC. And, it is true that both candidates are suing the FEC.
On April 21, Justice Anthony Kennedy declined to order any more candidates on the ballot in the Montana special US House election. Here is a background piece written before the decision.
Last year, the Libertarian Party won a court case against the Connecticut ban on out-of-state circulators. However, this year’s bill to amend the law to reflect current policy, HB 7163, failed to make any headway. It is now too late for the bill to pass this year.
This poll shows that if Evan McMullin, independent presidential candidate in 2016, were to run as an independent for U.S. Senate in Utah next year against incumbent Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, McMullin would win. The poll shows: McMullin 33%; Hatch 29%; an unnamed Democrat 11%; someone else 10%; undecided 17%. Thanks to Political Wire for the link.