U.S. District Court denies injunctive relief in Libertarian-Green ballot access case
On May 13, U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, refused to enjoin the New York ballot access changes made in 2020. Libertarian Party of NY v New York State Board of Elections, s.d., 1:20cv-5820. The opinion says the 2% vote test for president/governor, and the new number of signatures for a statewide office (45,000), are not severe.
The decision cites only precedents that upheld state ballot access laws, and doesn’t mention any precedents that struck them down. It does not mention the March 29, 2021 decision of the Sixth Circuit that struck down Michigan’s 30,000-signature requirement for statewide independent candidates.
Ballot Access News
By Richard Winger
May 13, 2021
The opinion says that New York has a state interest in keeping small parties off the ballot because otherwise the state would be forced to give public financing to the nominees of those parties. This is utterly untrue. The Second Circuit has already ruled that states can confine public funding to only the two largest parties. Judge Koeltl even mentioned that precedent, Green Party of Connecticut v Garfield, for a side point from that opinion, but he didn’t mention the main holding of that opinion.
Judge Koetl wrote that because parties such as the “Rent is Too Damn High Party” and the “Stop Common Core Party” succeeded in placing a statewide nominee on the ballot in years when the petition requirement was 15,000, that shows the old requirement was too easy. Here is the 39-page opinion.
The issue of declaratory relief is not yet settled and there will be a trial for the introduction of more evidence. Thanks to Michael Kuzma for the link.