One Month has Passed Since Georgia Minor Parties Asked for Reconsideration, but No Action from Judge

As noted earlier, U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Story had dismissed the ballot access lawsuit filed by the Georgia Green Party and the Georgia Constitution Party on July 17, before the state had even answered the Complaint. Judge Story wrote “it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim”, and his authority for that was that the Georgia ballot access laws held been upheld already in Jenness v Fortson, Cartwright v Barnes, and Coffield Kemp.

However, on July 24, the plaintiffs had asked him to reconsider, pointing out that all the precedents Judge Story relied on relate to congressional or state office elections. None of the precedents he cited refer to presidential elections. Both the U.S. Supreme Court, in Anderson v Celebrezze, and the 11th circuit, in Bergland v Harris, had ruled that Jenness v Fortson doesn’t control presidential election ballot access. Georgia is in the 11th circuit. It has now been a month since the plaintiffs asked for rehearing, and the judge has not acted on it. The state has not opposed the motion for reconsideration. In normal circumstances, the judge should have responded by now, especially as this is a case that affects the upcoming election. The case is Green Party of Georgia v Kemp, northern district, 1:12-cv-1822. The plaintiffs have presented evidence that the Georgia procedure is so restrictive, no statewide petition in Georgia has succeeded since 2000. There is no other state except Indiana for which that is a true statement.

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