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March 11, 2009

Nader Scores Big Court Victory for Third Party Candidates

by Stephen Littau

It’s not often that I sing the praises of unsafe-at-any-speed Ralph Nader, but his recent legal victory is worthy of such praises.

LOS ANGELES, March 9 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant move for open-election laws, the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an attempt to overturn a federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that the state of Arizona could not require independent presidential candidates to register earlier than candidates affiliated with major political parties.

Arizona’s petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court had been closely watched after 13 other states supported Arizona’s bid to have the High Court hear the case. The federal civil rights case, originally filed in Arizona federal district court, stems from Nader’s 2004 presidency bid.

Ralph Nader had challenged the deadline, contending it violated his First Amendment rights to free speech and political association. Lead Attorney Robert Barnes of the Bernhoft Law Firm represented Nader before the Ninth Circuit, which overturned the district court and unanimously declared the Arizona law unconstitutional. Nader’s Bernhoft Law legal team successfully argued that requiring independent candidates to register by June was unfair when the two major political parties did not hold their conventions until the fall.

Perhaps as just as important was the other aspect of Nader’s challenge was the lower court striking down the provision in Arizona law which required petition circulators to be registered to vote within the state. Paul Jacob and others can now circulate petitions to any state government without fear of being put in jail. What a concept!

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2 Comments

  1. This is good news. I think strong 3rd party candidates are essential for more progressive ideas to get into the “mainstream” where they belong. Legalization of drugs. Single payer universal health care. Bringing all of the troops (all around the world) home.

    Comment by Josh — March 11, 2009 @ 8:45 pm
  2. Josh,

    Well, you won’t find much support for the progressive agenda here, as we’re hoping for better access of libertarian ideas to the political mainstream. But I think we can agree that we need more options than Conservative Big-Governmentism and Liberal Big-Governmentism parties.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — March 11, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

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