|This issue was originally printed on white paper.|
(B.A.N. first reported on this case in the August 12, 1996 issue.)
On October 9, the 8th circuit upheld a lower court ruling, that Nebraska cannot require petition circulators to be residents of the state. Bernbeck v Moore, 96-3503. The vote was 3-0. The decision was written by Judge Don Ross, a Nixon appointee, and signed by Judge Theodore McMillan, a Carter appointee, and George Fagg, a Reagan appointee. This is the first lawsuit in U.S. history that has ever had this outcome.
The 8th circuit consists of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas. The 8th circuit is also the circuit in which the fusion ban was struck down (the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that), and the circuit which ruled that public TV cannot sponsor debates and invite only the Democratic and Republican candidates.
The state argued that the law is needed to prevent signature fraud, but the decision points out that all petition circulators must swear, under penalty of perjury, that the circulator witnessed each signature, that the date next to each signature is correct, and that the circulator believes each signer was qualified to sign. The state is free to know the address of each circulator. Also, elections officials check each signature.
If the same decision were won in other circuits, the results would be dramatic. One of the reason that ballot access petitioning is so onerous, is that so many states have restricted who can circulate petitions. Virginia won't let statewide petition circulators work outside of their own (or a neighboring) congressional district. West Virginia forces petitioners to get credentials. Kansas won't let statewide petition circulators work outside their home county. Illinois won't let circulators work for a candidate in the general election if they circulated for another candidate in the preceding primary.
Many states require circulators to be registered and able to vote for the candidates listed on the petition, making it especially tough for minor parties to get on the ballot for U.S. House and state legislative races. In primaries, some states require the petitioner to be registered as a member of the same party as the candidate whose petition is being circulated. Skilled petition circulators, who do this work for a living, do a high share of the petitioning for minor parties, but laws which force circulators to be residents of the state in which they are working hamper these individuals.
The decision is based on the idea that petition circulation is free speech activity, and such activity is protected under the First Amendment.
(B.A.N. first reported on this case in the May 31, 1994 issue.)
On October 8, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Arkansas Educational TV Commission v Forbes, no. 96-779. The hearing went well for those who feel that the Constitution bars government-owned TV from sponsoring debates and inviting only the Democrat and Republican.
Richard D. Marks, attorney for Arkansas Educational TV, argued first. He began by saying that there is no difference between a televised debates between candidates, and any other TV program. Almost immediately, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor interjected to say that this isn't necessarily true. She also disputed his assertion that the speech of candidates in a debate should be considered to be the TV station's own speech. O'Connor also wanted to know if the station released objective standards on the question of who would be invited into the debate, when it first announced the debate. The answer was "No".
Justice Antonin Scalia wanted to know if a public TV station is free to endorse candidates. Again, Marks said "No". Justice John Paul Stevens asked if a public TV station is free to have all Republicans, and no Democrats, on its editorial board. Marks said "Public TV must walk a very fine line". Stevens asked if the station would feel free to broadcast an editorial, urging listeners not to consider voting for a minor party. Marks said, "No, that would be viewpoint discrimination." He maintained that Public TV can do what mainstream journalism does, which is to invite only those candidates in which the public is interested.
Justice David Souter asked "Doesn't that mean that the candidate with unpopular views always loses out?". Marks responded "No", and cited the example of Ross Perot being invited to debate in 1992.
Justice Ruth Ginsburg asked why the station invited one of the state's Republican congressional candidates to debate, even though he spent virtually nothing and had no active campaign. Marks responded that the very fact that a Republican had won a major party nomination, meant that the public is interested in his campaign.
U.S. Government Speaks
At this point, an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department, Deputy Solicitor General Lawrence Wallace, was permitted to speak for ten minutes, on the side of Arkansas Educational TV. Wallace argued that a debate sponsored by government-owned TV is not a limited public forum. He said "When the government invites a commencement speaker or sponsors a lecture series or art exhibit, these are not forums at all, they are government presentations that do not convey a right of access to others."
He also said, "As long as it's a government program, the government can choose the participants." He also made an analogy to a university printing press, which is free to decide for itself which books to publish.
Ginsburg asked if a Mayoral debate could be held in City Hall without inviting all the candidates for Mayor to debate. Wallace said "That would be a closer case". Ginsburg asked why. Wallace said "Because a broadcaster must serve the public interest".
Attorney for the Candidate
Kelly J. Shackelford, attorney for Ralph Forbes (the independent candidate in the 1992 Arkansas congressional race), began his argument by pointing out that Forbes did have popular support, as shown by the fact that when he ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1990 in the Republican primary, he got 46%. Justice Souter interrupted to ask how a candidate's debate can be differentiated from other examples of government-owned media in its coverage of election news. Shackelford said candidate debates are unique because they involve core political speech, because they represent an instance of the government imposing itself into an election, and because debates are face-to-face confrontations between the various candidates.
Stevens asked whether those criteria wouldn't also apply to an interview show. Shackleford responded that debates are unstructured, but then Chief Justice William Rehnquist pointed out that the 1992 Arkansas debate was highly structured, with candidates being expected to answer questions from reporters. Shackleford compared the debate to an open microphone at a soapbox, but Souter interjected that at a soapbox in a public park, it doesn't matter how many speakers there are.
Rehnquist asked if a write-in candidate, "Willie Wacko", with no popular support, has a right to be included in the debate. Shackleford replied "No", that he would be satisfied if the station would simply use objective criteria.
Scalia said this is inconsistent, and that if a debate sponsored by public TV is really a limited public forum, no candidate may be excluded. Rehnquist pointed out that it's constitutional to give presidential campaign funding at a general election only to parties which polled 5% of the vote in the last election, according to a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Buckley v Valeo.
The major newspapers covered this hearing, but the stories carried by some major newspapers differed very greatly from each other. The Washington Post story, written by Joan Biskupic, emphasized the comments and questions made by the Justices which seemed to show they were skeptical of Forbes' arguments, but she didn't mention any of the comments by Justices which indicated skepticism of the TV stations' arguments (except that she mentioned one by Scalia). Most other newspapers wrote a more balanced account, which hinted at an expectation that Forbes seems likely to win at least a limited victory. The opinion will probably be out in January or February 1998, although it could be as late as June 1998.
(B.A.N. first reported on this case in the September 9, 1996 issue.)
On October 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, heard arguments in LaRouche v Fowler, no. 96-7191, on whether the Democratic National Committee should have asked the Justice Department for permission before changing its national rules (the change was a new rule, that votes for LaRouche in Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses don't count. Without the rule, LaRouche would have won two delegates to the 1996 Democratic convention, both from states covered by §5 of the Voting Rights Act).
The three judges were David Sentelle, Laurence Silberman, and Merrick Garland. All three judges asked many questions and showed great interest in the case. The Democratic National Committee argued that the case is moot, but the judges reacted skeptically to this argument.
LaRouche is already a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2000 (he announced on July 23, 1997). The attorney for the Democrats said, "There is no way to know if this rule will be promulgated in 2000". Silberman said, "You don't expect us to believe that this won't happen again?" in an incredulous tone.
Silberman also asked "If this rule had been addressed to Jesse Jackson, do you think any district court in the nation would have dismissed the case?" (the lower court had dismissed the case, without even calling for a 3-judge panel, even though cases brought under the Voting Rights Act are supposed to be heard by a 3-judge panel at the District Court level).
Sentelle asked "If your position is correct, wouldn't the white primary cases have to be reversed?" (the white primary cases of the 1930's and 1940's ruled that the Democratic Party of Texas could not exclude African-American voters in the Democratic primary). Sentelle also asked "Isn't excluding someone based on their views more serious than requiring them to pay a fee?". This was a reference to a 1996 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, in which the court ruled 5-4 that the Voting Rights Act applies to political parties, and that the Republican Party had to get permission from the Justice Department before changing the dues required of convention delegates. The attorney for the Democrats replied that excluding someone because of his views is the only correct basis to exclude anyone.
It seems likely that the panel will remand the case back to the District Court, with instructions to convene a 3-judge court and hear the case again.
On October 6, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not hear two ballot access cases: Libertarian Party of Florida v Smith, no. 96-1867 (minor parties must pay higher filing fees than major parties); and Libertarian Party of Illinois v Rednour, no. 97-25 (even some qualified parties must submit 5% petitions to run for Congress).
On October 6, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Foster v Love, no. 96-670, on the timing of Louisiana's congressional elections. Federal law, ever since the 1870's, has required states to hold their congressional elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. The Congressional power to set the date is based on Article I, §4 of the U.S. Constitution. Notwithstanding this venerable old law, Louisiana has held its congressional elections (ever since 1978) on the first Saturday in October. Louisiana refers to its October election as a "primary", but it is an election, because it elects someone to office, unless no one polls at least 50% of the vote. Only if no one polls 50% of the vote, does Louisiana hold a run-off election.
This lawsuit is important for ballot access for minor parties, because the existing Louisiana law is extremely unfavorable for minor parties. There have not been any minor party candidates for either house of Congress (with the party label) on any ballot in Louisiana, during the past twenty years, ever since the state's current election law scheme has existed. If the voters who are challenging the Louisiana system prevail, it is likely that the state will completely revise its election law.
The Louisiana Attorney General, Richard Ieyoub, personally argued on behalf of the state. He took a very aggressive stand, arguing that the federal law was a product of the Reconstruction-era Congresses, implying that therefore it is an illegitimate law. He also said that since Congress has seated everyone elected under the existing law, for almost twenty years, this shows that Congress itself does not feel that Louisiana is breaking the federal law. He implied that the Court has no business hearing the case. He also suggested that the voters who brought the case lack standing, since Louisiana's election date doesn't harm them. He emphasized that the states and the federal government are equal partners, and that neither should be subservient to each other.
In response to a question from Justice John Paul Stevens, he even said that Louisiana could hold its first congressional election in September and, if no one got 50%, could hold the runoff in October; in other words, that the state could totally ignore the November date specified in the federal law.
Of course, none of this can counter the fact that Article I, §4, of the U.S. Constitution, for over two hundred years, has said that states may write election laws for Congress, but "Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations".
Several Justices gave Ieyoub a difficult time. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pointed out that some of his arguments weren't in his written brief. Under Court rules, oral argument isn't suppose to introduce new arguments.
Several justices asked Ieyoub about voter turnout in October elections, versus November presidential elections, making the point that congressional elections should be held when turnout is highest. Ieyoub then stated that turnout in Louisiana October elections is very good. Justice Stevens then recited specific turnout percentages from Louisiana, that for each of the last two congressional elections (in October), turnout was under 30% of the adult citizens, whereas the turnout in the state in recent presidential elections (in November) was about 50%. Ieyoub had nothing to say in response.
Questions for the Appellee
The Court then heard from the attorney for the voters, M. Miller Baker, who opened by pointing out that Louisiana could keep its election system just as it is, and still follow the federal law, if it were to shift the date of the first election to November, with any possible runoff in December. Immediately Justice Antonin Scalia expressed the opinion that the rare congressional elections in which no one gets 50% are the more important congressional elections, and for those elections, the November-December idea would put the all-important runoff in December when the voter turnout would probably be low.
Justice Anthony Kennedy asked Baker if his clients would be satisfied with a ballot in November with only one candidate on the ballot (this would leave voters with no choice, since Louisiana is one of 5 states with no write-in space on the ballot for Congress). Baker was repeatedly asked this question, or variations of it, and he never seemed to give a clear answer. Justices Scalia, Kennedy and O'Connor, asked about elections in which only one person is running. Why should the state bother to even hold such an election, he was asked. He was asked if he would be satisfied with a rule that said, if the one candidate got even one vote, the candidate would be deemed elected; but he would not be elected if he or she got zero votes. Baker responded that this would meet the requirements of the federal law, but that there are fundamental problems with such a solution.
Justice Stephen Breyer asked how many states permit write-in votes in Congressional elections, but Baker didn't know the answer (the answer is 45 states). It is clear that if every state permitted write-ins, this would solve the problem of the otherwise meaningless one-candidate election, because in theory, a one-candidate election could still leave the voters free to vote for whom they pleased, if there were write-in space.
It seems fairly likely that the Court will rule that the current Louisiana election dates are in violation of federal law, but it's anybody's guess what the Court will say Louisiana must do to be in compliance. The opinion should be interesting: the Court has never discussed one-candidate elections in any of its prior ballot access opinions, although such elections are very common in the U.S. (over one-third of all state legislative general elections are one-candidate elections).
On September 29, U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan ruled that the city of Tacoma, Washington must alter its procedures, when it edits candidates' statements in the Voters Handbook. CLEAN v Pearsall-Stipek, c97-5523RJB.
On October 7, the 9th circuit ruled 2-1 that the state legislative term limits law is void, because the voters who approved it were not told that if they approved it, the limits would be for the lifetime of the legislators. Bates v Jones, 97-15864. The lower court had also invalidated the term limits law, but on different grounds.
Logically, if laws adopted by the voters can be overturned because of evidence that the voters weren't fully informed, then it should also follow that laws passed by state legislatures are also void if it can be shown that the legislators weren't well-informed.
A motion for rehearing en banc in the 9th circuit is pending, as well as an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
1. California: on August 25, the 9th circuit struck down a Los Angeles ordinance making it illegal to solicit on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Perry v Los Angeles Police Dept., 121 F 3d 1365.
2. Nebraska: on October 16, the 8th circuit upheld the number of signatures needed for initiatives: 10% of the number of registered voters at the time the petition is submitted. Proponents of an initiative had argued that it violates due process for the formula to be such that no one knows how many signatures will be needed, while the drive is going on. But the panel felt that since there is no U.S. Constitutional right to have an initiative procedure, a state can require any number of signatures it wishes. Dobrovolny v Moore, 96-3683, authored by the same panel that wrote Bernbeck v Moore (see story on page one).
3. New Jersey: On July 18, a New Jersey state court put a Republican on the general election ballot for city council. The candidate had received 19 write-in votes in the Republican primary, enough to win the nomination (no one else ran) but elections officials wouldn't place him on the November ballot because he didn't file a letter of acceptance within 7 days of the primary. Clemency v Beech, Camden Co., L5403-97.
4. New York: on October 2, the 2nd circuit refused to order any relief in Gelb v Board of Elections of New York city, no. 97-7077. Although all the evidence showed that the city broke state law by refusing to permit write-ins at primaries, the panel ruled that the case belongs in state court.
5. Oklahoma: on October 6, U.S. District Judge Wayne Alley ruled that there must be a trial to determine whether Oklahoma must keep a record of which voters register as members of unqualified parties. Oklahoma registration forms now include a blank line in the "party" question, which means that voters can register as members of unqualified parties. The question now is whether the state must assign a computer code so that it is possible for unqualified parties to find out which voters have joined those parties. Atherton v Ward, civ-96-1926-A, Oklahoma City. The case was brought by the Libertarian Party.
6. Virginia: on October 15, Reform Party gubernatorial candidate Sue DeBauche sued a publicly owned university for sponsoring a televised gubernatorial debate and excluding her. She is one of only three candidates on the ballot for Governor. DeBauche v Virginia Commonwealth University, no. 3:97cv770.
7. Washington: on October 15, the State Supreme Court heard arguments against the state term limits law. Washington doesn't permit initiatives to amend the state Constitution, so the term limits initiative was passed as a statute, not a constitutional amendment. The law provides that anyone may run for re-election, but after several terms, incumbents must run as write-in candidates. Gerberdine v Munro, no. 65059-4.
8. federal law: on August 5, Lenora Fulani filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission's decision that she owes $117,000 from her 1992 presidential campaign. Fulani v FEC, 97-1466. Although the FEC ruled that there is no reason to believe Fulani broke the law, it found errors in her use of primary season matching funds and wants a refund of the money it feels wasn't spent properly.
The last B.A.N. reported that Congressman Ron Paul had introduced HB 2477 (to outlaw restrictive ballot access laws in federal elections) and HB 2478 (to require major party presidential candidates who receive public funding to debate significant minor party and independent presidential candidates, if they debate at all). Efforts are being made to raise money to hire a professional lobbyist to work for the bills.
There are ten members of the U.S. House still in office who co-sponsored the ballot access bill back in 1993, when it was HR 1755, by Congressman Tim Penny. They are John Conyers (D-Mi), James C. Greenwood (R-Pa), Alcee Hastings (D-Fl), Bob Inglis (R-SC), Martin Meehan (D-Mass), Major Owens (D-NY), Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), Collin Peterson (D-Mn), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), and Melvin Watt (D-NC). If your member of Congress is on this list, and you are writing that member in support of the ballot access bill, be sure to mention in your letter that the member co-sponsored the bill in the past.
State Senator Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Oakland County) has indicated she will introduce a bill next year to let a party qualify in just part of the state. Most states already have procedures for a party to get on the ballot in just part of the state. The bill was requested by the Green Party.
On October 6, Representative Todd Platts (R-York) introduced his bill to improve ballot access, HB 1918. It appears that the bill will pass the House State Government Committee in January, but it will be a struggle afterwards to get the Republican legislative leadership to schedule a vote on the bill on the floor.
Election returns for significant state and local elections held in September, October and November 1997 will be carried in the December 1997 B.A.N.
See this note about tables.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||REFORM||LIB'T||NAT LAW||TAXPAYR||GREEN|
|Alaska||(reg.) 6,403||#2,453||0||already on||0||0||already on||June 1|
|Arizona||est. (reg.) 15,000||est #8,000||already on||already on||0||0||3,000||May 16|
|Arkansas||21,506||10,000||already on||0||0||0||0||May 4|
|California||(reg) 89,007||156,621||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Dec 31, '97|
|Colorado||no procedure||#1,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 14|
|Connecticut||no procedure||#7,500||can't start||can't start||can't start||already on||can't start||Aug 7|
|Delaware||est. (reg.) 200||4,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||20||Aug 22|
|D.C.||no procedure||#3,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 26|
|Florida||242,337||242,337||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 14|
|Georgia||38,113||#38,113||already on||already on||0||0||0||Jul 14|
|Hawaii||5,450||25||0||1,300||0||0||already on||Apr 2|
|Idaho||9,835||1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Aug 31|
|Illinois||no procedure||#25,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 3|
|Indiana||no procedure||#29,822||0||already on||0||0||0||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||#1,500||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 14|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||already on||already on||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Kentucky||no procedure||#5,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 11|
|Louisiana||est. (reg) 128,000||0||already on||400||10||10||50||Jul 1|
|Maine||30,288||#4,000||already on||0||0||0||in court||Dec 12, '97|
|Maryland||(10,000)||est. 78,000||0||0||0||0||*2,000||Aug 3|
|Massachusetts||est. (reg) 32,000||#10,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 18|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||already on||already on||0||0||*5,000||Jul 16|
|Minnesota||109,487||#2,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Mississippi||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Apr 3|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||0||already on||0||Jul 27|
|Montana||16,039||#10,097||already on||already on||already on||0||0||Mar 12|
|Nebraska||5,741||2,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 1|
|Nevada||4,498||4,498||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Jul 9|
|New Hampshire||14,901||#3,000||0||0||0||0||0||Aug 5|
|New Jersey||no procedure||#800||0||0||0||0||0||July 27|
|New Mexico||(2,781)||14,029||already on||already on||0||0||already on||Apr 7|
|New York||no procedure||#15,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 18|
|North Carolina||51,324||est. 82,000||0||already on||0||0||0||May 18|
|North Dakota||7,000||1,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Apr 3|
|Ohio||45,345||5,000||already on||0||*20,000||0||0||Jan 5|
|Oklahoma||60,336||0||already on||0||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Oregon||18,282||13,292||already on||already on||already on||0||already on||Aug 25|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||est. #25,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 3|
|Rhode Island||18,069||#1,000||*already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 1|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||May 3|
|South Dakota||7,792||#3,117||0||already on||0||0||0||Apr 7|
|Texas||43,963||43,963||can't start||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||May 24|
|Utah||2,000||#300||already on||already on||already on||already on||550||Feb 15|
|Vermont||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||0||already on||Sep 17|
|Virginia||no procedure||est. 15,500||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||in court|
|Washington||no procedure||#200||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 3|
|West Virginia||no procedure||#5,957||0||already on||0||0||0||May 11|
|Wisconsin||10,000||#2,000||already on||already on||0||already on||already on||Jun 1|
|Wyoming||8,000||10,500||0||already on||0||0||300||Jun 1|
|TOTAL STATES ON||*33||24||10||10||8|
"FULL PARTY REQ." means a new party can qualify before it names candidates; () means party must also do candidate petitions. #candidate procedure lets candidate use party label. "Deadline" refers to "full party procedure"; if state lacks one, it refers to candidate petition. * -- entry changed since last issue. Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia have no statewide offices up in 1998, so for them, chart is for US House.
On October 4-5, members and former members of the Reform Party who are dissatisfied with Ross Perot's leadership, met in Schaumburg, Illinois, and decided to form their own separate political party, to be called "American Reform Party". The convention elected Dr. Linda Witherspoon of Cordova, Tennessee, national chair. The meeting had 96 participants, representing 23 states. The meeting got good press attention. For example, the New York Times ran a large story about the meeting on Sunday, October 5, and another story the following day. Former Republican Congressman Ed Zschau addressed the group, but advised them to forget about building a new party, and instead to become a pressure group. In 1996 Zschau had been willing to be the Reform Party's vice-presidential candidate, but only if the Reform Party had nominated former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm for president.
The group passed a rule that no state party can be affiliated with the American Reform Party, unless it has disaffiliated itself from the Reform Party by the end of 1998.
Can the Group Get its Name on the Ballot?
The group cannot use the name "American Reform" in 11 states, because the Reform Party is already qualified in those states and state law won't let any word that is already part of the name of an old party, be used for a new party. Those states are California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
In addition, 11 other states (in which the Reform Party is already qualified) provide name protection for an old party if the name of the new party is so similar that, in the opinion of elections officials, voter confusion would result. In these states, it is impossible to predict what the state would say. They are Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
Finally, New York bars any group from using "American" as part of its name, and Kansas and Maryland require parties to have only one word in their name. The laws of these three states are probably unconstitutional.
On September 25, the AFL-CIO national convention deleted an old federation rule which barred members of the Communist Party from holding union office.
Although political scientists seldom study ballot access laws, there are two scholarly articles that have appeared in the last two years in political science journals:
1. "The Effects of Filing Fees and Petition Requirements on U.S. House Elections" appears in Legislative Studies Quarterly, volume 21, pages 249-264 (May 1996). However, the article is only concerned with how many Democrats and Republicans run for Congress.
2. "The Politics of Institutional Choice: Presidential Ballot Access for Third Parties in the U.S." appears in the British Journal of Political Science, volume 25, pages 419-427 (1995). It tries to explain why certain states have easy ballot access laws and others have such difficult ones. However, it only looks at current laws. Many states have drastically changed their ballot access laws during the past 100 years, from lenient to harsh and sometimes from harsh to lenient.
On October 31 and November 1, Stanford Law School hosts a symposium on Law and the Political Process. Attendance is free; anyone may attend. Panel I, at 4 pm on October 31, discusses Political Parties and the Law. Three papers will be presented in Panel I: "Politics as Markets: Partisan Lockups of the Democratic Process", by Richard Pildes (U. of Michigan) and Sam Issacharoff (U. of Texas); "Entrenching the Duopoly: Why the Supreme Court Should Not Afford Special Constitutional Protections to the Democrats and Republicans", by Richard Hasen (Loyola); and "The Recent Party Reform Initiatives in California", by Elizabeth Gerber (U.C. San Diego). For more information, call 650-725-0183, or see the web site at http://www-leland.stanford.edu/group/lawreview. The papers will be published in a future edition of the Stanford Law Review. There will also be panels on Redistricting and Campaign Spending Laws.