Republicans who Challenged Pennsylvania Petitions Ask to Intervene in Federal Court Lawsuit over Whether the Challenge System is Valid

In May 2012, the Constitution, Green, and Libertarian Parties filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that the unique Pennsylvania ballot access system violates the U.S. Constitution because it requires minor parties and independent candidates to risk paying court costs of over $100,000 if their statewide petitions are found invalid. Recently, the same Republican Party activists who challenged the statewide Libertarian and Constitution Parties sought to intervene in the federal lawsuit.

Here is the brief filed by the proposed intervenors. The brief does not grapple with the core issue in the lawsuit. Instead it defers to the state’s brief. Here is the state’s brief, which is mostly concerned with standing and ripeness. The state brief does attempt to deal with the main issue in the case, but it does so from the viewpoint that the existing system (in which only courts determine if a signature is valid) is to be taken as a “given.” The state’s brief misses the whole point, which is that Pennsylvania does not have a state interest in leaving the petition-checking process entirely to courts and judges. The state, and the intervenors, do not seem to notice that no other state forces state courts to be the first and only government agencies to examine petitions.


  1. Romney is trying to lose this election. Nobody could be this stupid.

  2. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    Richard- what is your best guess about either or both alternative parties’ chances? It appears both are going to defend their petitions which is courageous. If injunctive relief is not forthcoming do you think they will have enough of a buffer of signatures to withstand the challenge?

  3. I got an email from the LPPA that they are looking for volunteers. They handed in twice as many signatures. I think they will win. Dunno about the CPPA’s chances.

  4. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    I received the same email. I wonder if by using volunteers the LPPA gets around at least part of the potential cost of checking the petitions by reducing or eliminating the use of state employees for a week to check them. Does anyone know?

  5. Richard Winger · · Reply

    No, the petitioning groups are expected to furnish volunteers, but just because they furnish volunteers does not reduce court costs. The money for court costs includes payment to witnesses for the challengers and their hired experts (handwriting experts, etc.) and the cost of the transcript.

  6. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    As I understand it the CPPA is asking for volunteers as well to check petitions but I don’t know what discrepancies they are screening petitions to alledgedly find.

  7. Raymond Agnew · · Reply

    I am one of the Liberty Voluntees for My Libertarian Party of PA and I will Be There All Next Week, This will not stand the PAGOP will be defeated & we will be on the ballot!

  8. Raymond Agnew · · Reply

    Volunteers ( correction sorry)

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