Former Congressman Mickey Edwards has this op-ed in the New York Times, condemning “sore loser” laws. “Sore loser” is actually a term that has come to represent any election law that keeps an otherwise qualified candidate off the general election ballot because he or she was too closely associated with a qualified political party. The term includes not only candidates who run in a partisan primary and lose; it also includes candidates who want to be independent candidates in November but can’t be because they were registered as a member of a qualified party in the recent past; and it also includes laws that force all candidates for a particular office to file on the same deadline, and forces them to choose whether to run in a partisan primary or to file as an independent for the November election.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a Michigan Libertarian Party appeal against Michigan’s “sore loser” law as applied to presidential primaries. If the Edwards op-ed had run in the New York Times a few months earlier, conceivably that might have helped persuade the Court to hear the case.