Home Uncategorized U.S. District Court Judge Upholds Arizona’s February Petition Deadline for Newly-Qualifying Parties

U.S. District Court Judge Upholds Arizona’s February Petition Deadline for Newly-Qualifying Parties

On May 16, U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake upheld Arizona’s February petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. See the 12 page opinion here in Arizona Green Party v Bennett, cv-14-375. The decision says that Arizona needs a petition deadline that early, in order to get ready for the new party’s primary, which is six months after the deadline, on August 26, 2014.

The decision mentions some of the precedents that invalidated early petition deadlines for newly-qualifying parties in other states, but does not discuss them, except to imply that they all involve presidential elections. However, some of the precedents mentioned in the decision were not related to presidential elections or presidential candidates.

The decision makes a slight acknowledgement that the state is free to let newly-qualifying parties nominate by convention. The decision does not acknowledge the point that initiative petitions are due in Arizona only four months before the election, and somehow the state is able to cope with the initiative deadline. The party has already filed a notice of appeal.

7 Responses

  1. It seems as if the plaintiffs offered no evidence that the regulation was a substantial burden and it seems unlikely that unless they do so on appeal, that this opinion will be reversed.

    Any differing regulation having to do with petitions is simply irrelevant. As long as the burden is not constitutionally objectionable, the state may have differing regulations concerning ballot initiatives and political party recognition because it can distinguish between the needs of the state elections officials in the two procedures. It’s a rational basis test.

  2. Demo Rep

    Separate is still NOT equal — a mere 60 years after Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954.

    Each election is N-E-W – for about 6,000 plus years.

    Thus – equal ballot access tests for ALL candidates for the same office in the same area.

    Much too difficult for the SCOTUS legal history MORONS to understand ???

  3. Richard Winger

    The U.S. Supreme Court already ruled in Anderson v Celebrezze that petition deadlines for independent candidates and newly-qualifying parties are unconstitutional, especially deadlines earlier than March 20 of an election year. And the Green Party did submit evidence in this case.

    • I think this case is distinguishable from that in a couple of respects, but the Ninth Circuit will have the last word.

      Meanwhile, any Green Party candidates in Arizona who plan to run for office if the party is on the ballot contact @azcpolitics at Twitter to see about getting on the Arizona Republic’s Voters’ Guide to candidates.

  4. Mark Brown

    This will be overturned.

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