On September 5, U.S. District Court Judge Joan Gottschall, a Clinton appointee, issued a 17-page opinion in Libertarian Party of Illinois v Illinois State Board of Elections, northern district, 12-C-2511. The opinion denies the state’s motion to dismiss the case, and strongly suggests that the party will win the lawsuit against the Illinois “full-slate” requirement. However, the opinion suggests that the June petition deadline is constitutional.
Illinois requires an unqualified party to submit a full slate of candidates for any jurisdiction in which it is petitioning. Thus, if it is circulating a statewide petition in a mid-term year, it can’t just run for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. If it runs for those offices, it must also run for Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Comptroller. If it runs a presidential candidate in a year in which U.S. Senate is being voted on, then it must also run a U.S. Senate candidate.
The rule is even more oppressive when county partisan offices are being contested. In this particular lawsuit, the Libertarian Party wanted to run Julie Fox for Auditor of Kane County. But the party was prohibited by the full-slate law from petitioning for her, unless the party also nominated for all the other Kane County county-wide partisan offices.