Georgia Files Brief in Green, Constitution Party Ballot Access Lawsuit

On June 22, Georgia filed a motion to dismiss the ballot access lawsuit filed last month by the Green Party and the Constitution Party. Although the state’s brief is 17 pages long, not once does it mention either of the precedents that the case relies on. The lawsuit is Green Party of Georgia v State of Georgia and Brian Kemp, 1:12-cv-1822. The lawsuit charges that Georgia’s ballot access law, as applied to presidential candidates, requires too many signatures.

The parties base their case on Anderson v Celebrezze, and Bergland v Harris. In Anderson v Celebrezze, the U.S. Supreme Court said that states must be more lenient in presidential elections, than for other office. Bergland v Harris is an 11th circuit decision from 1985 that repeated that holding, and said Georgia’s requirement at that time, for president, might be unconstitutionally difficult. At the time the requirement for president was 2.5% of the number of registered voters. The 11th circuit remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court, but then the legislature lowered the petition requirement to 1% of the number of registered voters and the case ended.

The state’s brief mentions all the ballot access precedents that upheld Georgia’s requirements for office other than President, but nowhere mentions either Anderson v Celebrezze or Bergland v Harris.

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