Ralph Nader’s attempts to get on ballots in 2004, and Democratic Party attempts to keep him off, provoked many lawsuits. Four of those cases are still pending. The status of each is:
1. Pennsylvania. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider Nader’s appeal at its conference on January 5, 2007. Whether the Court will take the case won’t be announced until January 8, 2007, at the earliest. The issue is whether a candidate may be required to pay all the costs of determining whether or not the petition is valid. Nader v Seroty, 06-696. Nader’s opponents have waived their right to file a brief asking the Court not to hear the case.
2. Ohio. The new Nader case (filed September 29, 2006) on whether a state can require a circulator to be a registered voter is pending in U.S. District Court. All briefs have been filed. Nader v Blackwell, 2:06-cv-821, s.d. Everyone agrees that the law is unconstitutional (the U.S. Supreme Court settled it in 1999). The only real issue is whether the court will accept that Nader has standing to pursue the issue. An earlier Nader lawsuit against Ohio’s law was sidetracked.
3. Hawaii. The State Supreme Court has been sitting on Nader’s case on the state’s flawed procedures for checking signatures for two years. The Court could either issue an opinion, set the case for oral argument, or remand the case, at any time. Nader also has a case in federal court in Hawaii against the law that requires an independent presidential candidate to collect five times as many signatures as are needed for a new party. The federal case is on hold, pending activity by the State Supreme Court. Recently the federal court asked Nader’s attorney to tell it what the State Supreme Court has done. The attorney, of course, could only respond that we are all still waiting for the State Supreme Court.
4. Arizona. Nader’s attorney recently filed a brief in the 9th circuit against the state’s independent presidential petition deadline of early June, and against the state’s policy of not letting out-of-staters circulate that kind of petition. The state has asked for more time to respond. Nader v Brewer, 06-16251.