U.S. District Court Grants Injunctive Relief Against California's Deadline for Newly-Qualifying Parties

On May 22, U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson granted injunctive relief to the Constitution Party and the Justice Party, against California’s January deadline for newly-qualifying parties to get on the ballot. The case is California Justice Committee, et al v Bowen, 2:12cv03956. Here is the order.

Injunctive relief can only be granted when there is a substantial likelihood that the challenged law is unconstitutional. It is likely that in the near future, the California deadline will be held unconstitutional and the legislature will need to write a better law. This is the first ballot access law affecting minor parties and independent candidates in California that has been either enjoined or declared unconstitutional since 1988. In 1988, a U.S. District Court struck down California’s old 60-day period for independent presidential candidates. The legislature then expanded it to 105 days.

This new California development will assist similar deadline lawsuits now pending in Oklahoma, Alabama, North Carolina, Montana, and New Mexico. It will also help to retain the victory already won against Ohio, where the state legislature is still appealing. UPDATE: here is a press release about the decision.


  1. Trent Hill · · Reply

    And that means…what, exactly?

  2. Mark Brown · · Reply


  3. […] MORE from Richard Winger. This entry was posted in ballot access, third parties. Bookmark the permalink. ← “Meredith McGehee Discusses Campaign Finance Reform on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal” […]

  4. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Separate is NOT equal.
    Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954
    regardless of ALL of the MORON ballot access cases since 1968 — a mere 44 years of TONS of junk cases and paperwork.

    Each election is NEW.

    EQUAL nominating petitions.

    Way too difficult for MORON ballot access lawyers and courts to understand.

  5. […] May 22, U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson grants injunction against California’s January deadline for newly-qualifying parties to get on the ballot, for Constitution Party and Justice […]

  6. Jim Riley · · Reply

    #1 The judge said he didn’t think a deadline based on the primary, was constitutional for parties that only sought to appear on the presidential ballot.

    He didn’t set a deadline, but suggested that the SOS could set a reasonable deadline. The filing deadline for independent candidates is 88 days before the election; and the filing deadline for candidates for the primary was 88 days before the primary.

    It doesn’t sound like the judge would be concerned with an August 10 deadline.

    The plaintiffs did not challenge the numeric standards, so a new party would need 103,004 registrants; or 1,030,040 signatures on a petition.

    An independent presidential candidate needs 172,859 signatures, so that would probably be the easiest route.

    Under California law, petitioning for party qualification is treated the same as petitioning for qualifying an initiative – and “filing” an initiative petition is considered to occur when the counties certify sufficient signatures on the petition. That is why the Americans Elect Party had to gather their California signatures so early. The district court did not address that, and I doubt either party will seek to qualify by the petition route anyhow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: