Los Angeles Times Carries Lengthy Story on Gary Johnson's Lawsuit Against the Commission on Presidential Debates

See this Los Angeles Times story about Gary Johnson’s lawsuit, alleging that the Commission on Presidential Debates violates anti-trust law. That lawsuit is filed in U.S. District Court in southern California. UPDATE: also, see this PolicyMic article, which gives details of the activism being undertaken to change the Commission on Presidential Debates’ rule.


  1. Why isn’t the PDC’s bi-partisan support of only two political parties a violation of federal tax law since the PDC is a 501c3?

  2. Richard Winger · · Reply

    Lenora Fulani made the same point in her several lawsuits on this matter in 1988, as did John Hagelin, Ralph Nader, and Pat Buchanan, in their lawsuits in 2000. None of those lawsuits won. Generally the courts say the excluded candidates don’t have standing. One of Fulani’s decisions did say she had standing, but the court still ruled against her on the merits. Attorney Arthur H. Block of New York city spent years working on the Fulani cases. He could explain the history of the cases better than I can.

  3. While a worthy suit in the context of the situation, I just hope the campaign makes it knowing full well the incompatibility of anti-trust laws to libertarianism. Anti-trust laws basically mandate corporate oligopoly by banning trusts/pools between firms, forcing local or regional firms to usually merge into nationwide competitors, usually to the detriment of the worker. Even before 1890 however the U.S. was unusual in that it didn’t recognize trusts with force of contract while European countries usually did, allowing their small, family owned businesses to continue in trusts till WWII. Sherman simply put the final stake in the untenable “gentlemen’s agreements” by making them illegal. Trusts should not be viewed, however, as completely anti-competitive since no contract can carry force among firms that have yet to emerge.

  4. Walter Ziobro · · Reply

    #3 expresses my sentiments as well. Given that previous efforts to use anti-trust law in this context have failed, I suspect that Johnson’s suit is mainly for publicity value.

  5. #3 & #4 – apparently Gary Johnson’s campaign is doing this for the publicity. I saw Gov. Johnson on MSNBC this morning for an extended interview. He was able to get a number of Libertarian talking points in, besides talking about the debate.

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