The lawsuit Gary Johnson and James Gray filed in 2012 to be included in the general election presidential debates, and the vice-presidential debate, is still active. The lawsuit is pending in federal court in Orange County, California and is Johnson v Commission on Presidential Debates, central district, 8:12cv-1600.
The Complaint asks for compensatory damages for keeping Johnson out of the debates, and argues that Johnson met the CPD’s criteria. The criteria that the CPD believes Johnson did not meet is 15% in public opinion polls. However, during fall 2012, Johnson commissioned several polls from neutral, respected polling companies. The poll asked respondents if they preferred President Obama or Gary Johnson. Johnson polled well over 15% in all these polls. The CPD’s criteria don’t say which candidates must be mentioned by pollsters. Therefore, the Complaint alleges breach of contract.
The Complaint also charges that the CPD violated the following laws and constitutional provisions when it excluded Johnson: (1) the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) 42 USC 1983, a federal law; (3) the District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act, which makes discrimination unlawful; (4) several California laws that outlaw unfair competitive practices; (4) the federal Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
A status conference will be held on July 11.