Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.


PAC Supporting Mike Huckabee Independently Sues FEC to Gain Ability to Use Huckabee’s Name for its Facebook Page

Pursuing America’s Greatness is a PAC that wants to make independent expenditures in support of Mike Huckabee’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. FEC rules do not permit independent expenditure committees to use the name of any candidate they they support in their social media account titles (nor can they use the candidate’s name in the name of the PAC). Thus, Pursuing America’s Greatness is not permitted to set up a Facebook page called “I like Mike Huckabee.”

On July 27, Pursuing America’s Greatness sued the FEC to overturn that rule. The PAC does not want to use its Facebook page to raise money; it merely wants to convey messages of support for Huckabee. The lawsuit is Pursuing America’s Greatness v FEC, U.S. Dist. Ct., D.C., 1:15cv-1217.

The lawsuit points out that the FEC does permit a PAC that opposes a particular candidate to use that candidate’s name in its social media account titles, and even in the name of the PAC itself. In 1994 the FEC permitted a group to call itself the “Citizens Against David Duke”.


New York Magazine on Upcoming Fox Debate for Republican Presidential Candidates

New York Magazine has this interesting story about the development of rules for the upcoming Fox News Republican presidential debate. Especially interesting is the part of the article that says the position of candidates on the stage is expected to be related to their standing in polls. Thanks to Political Wire for the link.


Law Professor Says U.S. Supreme Court May Mandate that Redistricting be Based on Population, Not Number of Voters

Law Professor Rick Pildes has this article at Scotusblog about the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearing in Evenwel v Abbott, 14-940. The Court will hear this case late in 2015 or early in 2016. Texas, like almost all states, bases redistricting on population, not the number of voters. States are free to decide which standard to use.

The Texas individuals who brought the case believe that the U.S. Constitution requires that redistricting create districts of equal numbers of voters, not equal numbers of residents. Pildes thinks it is somewhat likely that the lawsuit will boomerang on the people who brought the lawsuit, and that the outcome might be that the Supreme Court says districting must be based on residents, not number of voters. Of course the Court is also free to maintain the status quo, in which any state can choose either method. Thanks to Election Law Blog for the link.


Andrew Gripp Explains How U.S. Switched from Party Nominations by Caucus or Convention, to Primaries

The United States is the only nation in which the government subsidizes and mandates that any political parties choose their nominees in publicly-administered elections. Andrew Gripp has this article, explaining how party nominations worked in the United States before primaries existed.


US News & World Report Says Fox Debate Might Have Eleven Candidates

This U.S. News and World Report story says Fox News may permit eleven candidates to participate in its August 6 evening debate, because there is a tie for tenth place.


Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore Declares for the Republican Presidential Nomination

On July 29, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore declared his intent to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. It will be interesting to see if he is permitted into the August 6 “second-tier” Fox News debate. Earlier today Fox waived the requirement that the 2nd-tier debaters receive any particular poll showing. But Fox said candidates must have been included in polls.

Gilmore has been included in a few polls, but not most of them.

If Fox News admits Gilmore into the 2nd-tier debate, but continues to deny Mark Everson entry into that debate, Everson will have a strong legal case that he should be admitted also. He was the Internal Revenue Commissioner from 2003 to 2007 and has held other high-ranking government jobs. Everson has not been included in the polls, but he does have an active campaign with a campaign office in Iowa.