On August 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit filed by Gary Johnson and Jill Stein against the Commission on Presidential Debates. Johnson v Commission on Presidential Debates, 16-7107. The 11-page decision is written by Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who has been hostile to minor parties and independents throughout her whole career, which began on the California Supreme Court and then extended to the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. She wrote that the plaintiffs lack standing
Judge Cornelia Pillard, an Obama appointee, wrote separately to say that the plaintiffs do have standing, but that they still cannot win the case for other procedural reasons.
Judge Brown, while on the California Supreme Court, wrote the 2002 opinion in Edelstein v Nishioka. It said that nothing in the California Constitution, nor the U.S. Constitution, protects the right of voters to cast a write-in vote. It reversed a 1986 decision of the California Supreme Court, Canaan v Abdelnour, which had said both constitutions do protect the right of voters to vote for anyone they wish. In 2012, Brown, while on the D.C. Circuit, upheld the postal regulation that bans petitioning on interior postal sidewalks.
The other debates lawsuit, Level the Playing Field v FEC, is still pending in U.S. District Court, and has a much more sympathetic judge. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the news.