On March 27, the Ninth Circuit determined that the lawsuit Peace & Freedom Party v Bowen is not a case that can be mediated. Therefore, the case will be heard by a panel of judges in the future. The case was filed on April 3, 2012, when the California Secretary of State refused to print all four of the party’s presidential primary candidates on the party’s own presidential primary ballot. Specifically, she refused to print Peta Lindsay’s name on that ballot, on the grounds that she had determined that Lindsay does not meet the constitutional qualifications to be President; she is under age 35.
The party argues that it has a right to determine which names should be listed on its presidential primary ballot. Alternatively, it argues that the Secretary of State is inconsistent, because she does not block other constitutionally ineligible candidates from appearing on California ballots. Even though the California Constitution says that legislative candidates must have lived in the district for at least a year before running, she does not enforce that constitutional provision. Also, when individuals who believe that President Obama does not meet the constitutional qualifications to be President and that she should check his qualifications before printing his name on ballots, she takes the position that she doesn’t have the authority to investigate. The Peace & Freedom Party’s lawsuit lost in U.S. District Court on December 11, 2012; the decision does not discuss the inconsistency in the Secretary of State’s position.