On February 25, the Arizona Green Party filed a federal lawsuit against the February 28 petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. The case is Arizona Green Party v Bennett, 2:14cv-375.
There are no reported precedents that have ever upheld a petition deadline for a newly-qualifying party earlier than April. The Arizona Green Party has been working very hard on its petition to get back on the ballot, but it needs another few weeks to finish. The requirement is 23,041 valid signatures.
The original Arizona ballot access law, passed in 1891 when Arizona was still a territory, had a deadline of 20 days before the general election for newly-qualifying parties. In 1909, when the territory instituted primaries, the deadline was moved to 30 days before the September primary. In 1970 the deadline was advanced to 60 days before the primary. In 1979 the deadline was advanced to 115 days before the primary. In 2000 it was advanced to 180 days before the primary. In 2009 the primary was moved from early September to late August.
Thus, over the past century, the deadline has moved from October, to August, to July, to May, to March, to February. If the current deadline had been in effect in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Party could not have been on the Arizona ballot. If the current deadline had been in effect in 1854, the Republican Party, which was formed on July 6, 1854, could not have been on the ballot.