On April 30, U.S. District Court Judge David Russell upheld Oklahoma’s procedure for independent presidential candidates. Barr v Ziriax, civ-08-730-R. The decision is only eight pages long. The decision does not try to rebut either of the plaintiff’s two most powerful arguments. Oklahoma required 43,913 signatures for an independent presidential candidate in 2008, but didn’t require any signatures for independent candidates for other office. The U.S. Supreme Court had said in Anderson v Celebrezze that states have less interest in keeping independent presidential candidates off their ballot, than in keeping independent candidates for other office off the ballot. Yet the decision does not acknowledge that point.
Also, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that courts are supposed to examine how often a challenged ballot access law is used. No one has qualified under the Oklahoma independent presidential petition procedure since 1992, yet the decision simply says that since the law was upheld (by the same judge) in both 1996 and 2000, the matter is closed. Plaintiffs will appeal to the 10th circuit.