U.S. District Court Judge William Haynes will hear Tomasik v Goins, 3:13cv-1118, on October 31 at 3:30 p.m. in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the Libertarian Party’s lawsuit to get on the ballot for the upcoming special legislative election in Memphis in December. The candidate, James Tomasik, will definitely be on the ballot, because he was able to complete the independent candidate petition, which only requires 25 signatures. The issue is whether he should have the label “Libertarian” on the ballot next to his name.
The Libertarian Party has never been a ballot-qualified party in Tennessee, but the law on how newly-qualifying parties get on the ballot was struck down on June 17, 2013. The state is appealing that decision to the Sixth Circuit. The new Libertarian case, which was filed on October 9, 2013, is especially strong because Tennessee doesn’t actually have any statutory procedure for a party to get on the ballot in a special election. Once the special election is announced, it is already too late for a newly-qualifying party to get on the ballot.