On January 30, a small claims court in Los Angeles County heard arguments in the case called Patel v Associated Students. Graduate student Ankur Patel is compelled to be a member of the student body association at Cal State Northridge. Patel is suing for a return of his dues because the student association sponsored a debate in May 2012 for four candidates running for Congress in the 30th district. There were seven candidates on the June 2012 ballot for that seat. The Association refused to invite all seven candidates, on the grounds that it only wanted to hear from the four candidates it believed had a realistic chance of placing first or second.
Patel is a member of the Green Party, and one of the excluded candidates was Mike Powelson, the only Green Party member running.
The judge seemed interested in the case, and extended the normal time for a hearing of this nature. Finally he said he wants more time to think about the case, and set a new hearing for March 26.