On March 28, Michael Chamness asked the 9th circuit to delay ballot printing, in the special election to fill the vacant 36th U.S. House seat, until the U.S. District Court in his case issues an order on whether he should have either “Independent” or “My party preference is the Coffee Party” on the ballot.
Chamness is one of the 18 candidates running in the May 17th election. His lawsuit, Chamness v Bowen, argues that it is unconstitutional for California to give candidates from qualified parties a choice of whether to have either their party preference, or their lack of party preference, printed on the ballot; while at the same time not giving members of unqualified parties any choice of label. They cannot have their party on the ballot; they can’t have “independent” on the ballot; they can only have “no party preference.”
The U.S. District Court held a hearing on March 21. U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright still hasn’t acted, even though he has been made aware that ballot-printing starts on March 30. Here is the filing in the 9th circuit, case no. 11-70882.