The Ninth Circuit will hear Chamness v Bowen on February 13, Wednesday, in its courthouse on the western edge of Pasadena. This is the case that challenges California law that permits some members of political parties to list their party affiliation on the ballot, whereas certain other members of political parties are not permitted to list their party affiliation. Also, the law does not permit independent candidates to have the ballot label “independent” on the ballot. Instead they must use the label “no party preference”. However, California still permits independent presidential candidates to be listed on the ballot as “independent.”
A survey of California’s independent candidates for Congress and state legislature, conducted in June 2012, found that more than two-thirds of those candidates wished they could have “independent” on the ballot. The only independent candidates who said they didn’t want “independent” were a few who worried that “independent” would be confused with “American Independent.” Also, a few of the independent candidates could never be reached.
Anyone who is in southern California on February 13, 2013, should consider attending this hearing. The Court has set aside 40 minutes for the hearing. The Courthouse, at 125 South Grand Avenue, Pasadena, is one of the nation’s most beautiful courthouses. It was once a luxury hotel and is set in extensive gardens. The building is entirely for the use of the Ninth Circuit when it hears cases in southern California, and is not a courthouse for any other court.