Alabama Loses Ballot Access Case

Like a “mythical Greek Hydra”, wrote U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson, “Just as the court resolves one claim, another appears in its place.”

Thompson’s decision may have just cut off another claim, but he hasn’t cut the head off quite yet. Instead of offering my opinion on his opinion, I’d like to ask you all to read the decision and provide whatever thoughts you may have for an appeal. The current Alabama petition deadline is 5PM on June 6.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. I have a thought. Get everyone you can find to spend the next week doing nothing but collecting signatures.

  2. The section saying that Alabama allows primary voters to sign petitions is not a big deal any more. There used to be 9 states with this type of “Primary screenout” restriction, but now only Texas has it. (Nebraska also has Primary Screenout, but it only applies to independent presidential candidates.)

    For what it is worth, I wrote a bill to end Primary Screenout in Texas that was filed in the last general session by a Republican and co-signed by a Democrat. It died in committee without a vote when some higher-ups in the Republican Party decided they didn’t want things to be any easier for Kinky Friedman.

  3. Honestly I’m not sure any real claims can be made here. It seems to me that these kinds of suits only argue the semantics of established law when what really needs to change is the basis for the law to begin with. Namely, is there some undue burden to the election process to include pretty much as many candidates as want to put their name on the ballot? Of course the big 2 might argue that it does, primarily because it might remove the possibility of their having a majority if there are enough “litle guys” to take away some of the votes they percieve they should get.

    At any rate I think this stuff is jsut spinning wheels. Seems to me that kind of effort might be better spent working to change the election laws and/or work towards some kind of prevernce voting system int he state to really institute something a lot close to a truly fair election.

  4. Although I took a “pre-law” track and scored very high on LSAT, I decided long ago that reading legal opinion stuff is “not my thing” and makes my head hurt…

  5. Re-read the state constitution or whatever it is that gives a 5pm deadline. Make sure it isn’t “close of business.” If it’s close of business, you might have more time (not much, but maybe enough). Because it’s election day, the elections officers and their office hours may be extended. It may be that you have a good case for turning petitions in as late as the office is open and someone is there to recieve them.
    We had some discussion on this issue in connection with a City Clerk’s office.
    At the very least, keep collecting signatures as late as possible and try to turn them in. (I imagine there will be press hanging around watching the activity.) If they refuse to accept them, you may then have another case. (And beware accepting them without saying whether they’ll count them.)
    Justice is not guaranteed.