6th Circuit Upholds March 1 Petition Deadline for Independents

On November 29, the US Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 that Ohio may require independent candidates (for office other than president) to submit petitions by March 1 of an election year. Lawrence v Blackwell, 04-4022. The decision is only 6 pages long. It did not mention the US Supreme Court decision most relevant, Mandel v Bradley. Mandel v Bradley said early independent candidate petition deadlines are unconstitutional when the historical record shows that few independents qualify. In Ohio, no independent candidates qualified for congress in 17 of the 18 districts in 2004, and that was in the record. Earlier years are similar. The decision also failed to mention that 5 justices of the US Supreme Court this year said in Clingman v Beaver that courts should give heightened scrutiny to ballot access laws. And the decision failed to mention that in Anderson v Celebrezze, on page 805, the Court said that the political system works better when independent candidates are allowed to qualify after the major parties have chosen their nominees.


6th Circuit Upholds March 1 Petition Deadline for Independents — 1 Comment

  1. It’s appears that the courts are becoming more and more unfriendly to independents seeking ballot access in the last 5 years. Is that the case?

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