Arizona Libertarian Party Files Opening Brief in Primary Ballot Access Case

The Arizona Libertarian Party has filed this 66-page opening brief in Libertarian Party of Arizona v Reagan, 17-16491. The case concerns the requirements for getting on the primary ballot of a small qualified party. The state sets different rules for parties that have been continuously qualified, versus parties that got on the ballot at either of the last two elections. As a result, the ballot-qualified Libertarian Party, which is subject to the harsh rules, was unable to run any candidates for Congress or state legislature in 2016, whereas the ballot-qualified Green Party, which is subject to extremely easy rules, was able to run such candidates. Yet the Libertarian Party in Arizona is larger than the Green Party in Arizona.

Philadelphia Elected 192 Write-in Candidates to the Position of Election Judge, on November 7, 2017

The Hill has this story about candidates who were elected to the position of Election Judge via write-in votes, in the November 7, 2017 election. The article says 192 write-in candidates won for that position, in Philadelphia alone.

Pennsylvania is the only state that elects that position. Judges get paid $100 per election, and serve for four years. The article focuses on one candidate who was elected with only one write-in, his own.

Upcoming Ballot Access Hearings in Federal Court

Alabama: the 11th circuit will hear Hall v Merrill, 16-16766, on Wednesday, December 13, in Atlanta. The issue is whether Alabama can require a petition of 3% of the last gubernatorial vote in special U.S. House elections, given that the petitioning period in special elections is shorter than for regular elections. The U.S. District Court had ruled that Alabama must ease the requirements in special U.S. House elections, and the state is appealing. The three judges are William H. Pryor, a Bush Jr. appointee; R. Lanier Anderson, a Carter appointee; and Jill Pryor, an Obama appointee.

Arkansas: a U.S. District Court in Little Rock will hear Moore v Martin, 4:14cv-65, on December 12 at 9:30 a.m. The issue is the March 1 petition deadline for non-presidential independent candidates. The Eighth Circuit already heard this case and remanded it back to the U.S. District Court. The U.S. District Court had originally upheld the deadline. The Eighth Circuit had then ruled that the deadline is unconstitutional unless the state can show that it cannot manage to check the validity of the petitions without a deadline as early as March 1. The December 12 hearing will give the state an opportunity to establish its assertion.

California: the Ninth Circuit will hear Soltysik v Padilla, 16-55758, on Thursday, February 8, 2018, in Pasadena, at 9:30 a.m. The issue is whether it is constitutional to let some candidates for Congress and partisan state office have party labels on the ballot, while forcing others to disguise their party and instead have “party preference: none” on the ballot. The plaintiff-candidate is a registered Socialist.

New Jersey: the Third Circuit will hear Wilmoth v Guadagno, 17-1925, on January 23, 2018. The issue is New Jersey’s ban on out-of-state circulators for primary petitions. The U.S. District Court had upheld the restriction.

Level the Playing Field Files Brief on Why Additional Evidence Should be Accepted by U.S. District Court

On December 1, Level the Playing Field filed this 3-page rebuttal brief, on the issue of whether additional evidence should be allowed in this case. The issue in this case is whether the Federal Election Commission has failed to apply federal campaign finance laws to the Commission on Presidential Debates. The FEC is trying to get certain evidence excluded.