On September 10, U.S. District Court Judge Paul D. Borman amended his opinion of September 7 in Libertarian Party of Michigan v Johnson, eastern district, 2:12-12782. He deleted two sentences, which had said, “To avoid this unconstitutional predicament, the Supreme Court of Michigan ordered that Mr. Anderson’s name be removed from the primary ballot so that he could appear on the general election ballot as the candidate of a different party. Michigan Republican State Central Committee v Secretary of State, 408 Mich. 931 (1980).” Those two sentences had been on page 17.
Judge Borman added footnote one on page one, which says, “The only amendment to the Court’s September 7, 2012 Opinion and Order is the striking of one sentence and a citation appearing on page 17 of the Court’s Opinion: ‘To avoid…(1980).’ The Court did not in any way rely on this language or citation in reaching its decision on the merits. Indeed the Court noted, also at page 17 of its Opinion, that Mr. Anderson’s name did appear on the primary ballot as a candidate for the Republican Party but, as explained in the Bureau of Elections Director’s May 3, 2012 letter to Plaintiff Gary Johnson, also cited by the Court at page 17 of its Opinion, Anderson’s efforts to also appear as a candidate on the general election ballot as the Anderson Coalition’s candidate were not challenged at that time by the Bureau of Elections because Michigan did not then have in place a statutory procedure for qualifying an independent candidate. That procedure is in place today and Plaintiff Gary Johnson could have availed himself of this procedure, thus distinguishing the instant case from the situation faced by John Anderson in 1980.”
The error in the footnote is that the footnote purports to quote, or at least paraphrase, the May 3 ruling of the Secretary of State. But the May 3 Secretary of State ruling said, “Thus, in 1980, there was no mechanism for an independent candidate to obtain access to the ballot.” See page two. Michigan did have procedures for an independent presidential candidate to get on the ballot in both 1976 and in 1980, and independent presidential candidates used those procedures, which were court-authored procedures, not statutory procedures. Judge Borman knows this, but he is trying to disguise the fact that the Secretary of State either did not know this, or did not tell the truth, in her May 3 ruling.