Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Volokh reports on Libertarian Party v Blackwell.
wonderful case.
Congrats to Dena Bruedigan, plaintiff, Gary Sinawski, lawyer, Richard Winger, expert witness. I don't know Gary but he's one of the handful of lawyers who takes Libertarian Party cases.

The significance of the case isn't so much that it gets rid of the one year before the election deadline for petitioning, as the process by which the court found that result. It combines Anderson and Norman v Reed to find that denial of ballot access is a severe burden triggering strict scrutiny.

I have a current ballot access conundrum in Indiana, in which my tenant/roommate has been denied ballot access as the Libertarian candidate, and also has been denied the ability to be a write-in candidate (and a few other problems - they won't let him vote, either.) There's good language in the above opinion that could be cited to on these points.
Richard Winger writes:

Rick Hasen and Howard Bashman carried links to the
Ohio Libertarian Party ballot access victory in the
6th circuit yesterday. But the mainstream press is
mostly ignoring the decision. The Columbus Dispatch
today has nothing, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer
mentions the decision but doesn't explain what was
declared unconstitutional.

This was the first time a minor party had won a ballot
access case in any US Court of Appeals since 1997! It
is quite noteworthy and I am surprised at the Ohio
press's failure to say much, if anything, about it.

The 6th circuit said the combination of the extremely
early deadline (364 days before the general election)
for a new party to submit its petition, plus the hefty
number required (1% of the last vote cast, which was
32,290 in 2004 but is 56,280 this year), was, taken
together, unconstitutional. Ohio has had far fewer
minor parties on its ballots than any of the other
populous states, in the last decade. No party other
than the Democratic and Republican Parties has
qualified in Ohio in 2002, 2004 or 2006.

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