On September 7, Ruth Johnson, Secretary of State of Michigan, informed the Libertarian Party that she won’t print Gary Johnson of Austin, Texas, on the November ballot, because Michigan has no procedure for contingent presidential or vice-presidential party nominees.
However, Michigan has no statutory procedure for a qualified party to substitute a new presidential or vice-presidential nominee either, yet in 1972, when the Democratic nominee for vice-president resigned from the ticket, Michigan let the Democratic national committee choose a new vice-presidential nominee. The national convention had nominated Thomas Eagleton in July, but he had resigned from the ticket in August, and Sargent Shriver was chosen to replace him. All fifty states made the substitution.
What is at stake is the First Amendment right of candidates for presidential elector to have printed on the ballot the name of the candidates for President and Vice-President that they say they will vote for. Also at stake is the ability of the Libertarian candidates for presidential elector to continue to be recognized as candidates themselves.