U.S. District Court Judge Rules Against Letting Straight-Ticket Device be Used to Vote for Libertarian Presidential Electors

On October 2, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney refused to order Michigan to count straight-ticket votes for the Libertarian Party for the party’s slate of presidential electors. His 14-page opinion ignores the precedent set in Michigan in 1960, when Michigan let the Independent American Party appear on the ballot with unpledged presidential electors. Instead, the decision meanders into the history of U.S. presidential elections before the 12th amendment was adopted in 1804. Before the 12th amendment was adopted, presidential electors merely voted for individuals without specifying whether the intent of their vote was to vote for that individual for President or Vice-President. That has nothing to do with this case, Gelineau v Ruth Johnson.

The various federal judges who have ruled in the Michigan Libertarian presidential ballot access cases this year have ignored all these precedents in their opinions: (1) in 1980, Michigan didn’t interpret its “sore loser” law to include presidential primaries; (2) in four other presidential elections, Michigan printed the names of presidential or vice-presidential candidates who aren’t even qualified under the U.S. Constitution on the ballot; (3) the 1960 precedent mentioned above. The mark of a good judicial decision is to rebut the points of the losing side. The mark of a bad judicial decision is to ignore the losing side’s points. The quality of the Libertarian Michigan decisions this year has been low.

The judges have interfered with the free choice of voters. Michigan cast over 5,000,000 votes for President in 2008. Assuming the same number of voters vote again this year in Michigan, and assuming at least 1% of them would choose to vote for the Libertarian ticket (which is not unrealistic, given the polls that show Johnson above 1%, sometimes as high as 4% nationally), the judges have disenfranchised at least 50,000 voters. Fortunately the Secretary of State will recognize write-in votes for Gary Johnson. The judges in these cases are so hostile, probably if the Secretary of State had also refused to count write-ins, the judges would have approved that prohibition as well.


  1. This whole series of events in Michican is completely absurd and should be a national outrage. Wow.

  2. Will Fenwick · · Reply

    Any indication they will appeal?

  3. Everything that has happened this election is an outrage. We’ve seen ballot access litigation, voter ID laws, scripted voting at the RNC and DNC, the assault and arrest of delegates at the primaries, fake ballots, a corrupt bi-partisan CPD not allowing candidates into debates, the neglect of mainstream media to cover other niminees or even include them in polls. Our election has been hijacked and everyone, regardless od who you cast your vote for, should be angry and appalled.

  4. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    Another in a long line of judicial abominations.

  5. Regarding the last sentence of the story…don’t give them ideas, Richard!

  6. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Abolish the timebomb Electoral College.
    Abolish the gerrymander Senate.

    Uniform definition of Elector.
    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V. — including the election of ALL Fed judges (to reduce the number of EVIL CORRUPT MORON robot party hack Fed judges).

    The Democracy CRISIS is N-O-W.

  7. Why did Michigan, or the courts there, refuse to accept Gary E. Johnson of Texas as the backup presidential nominee?

  8. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #7, the state said there is no procedure in Michigan election law for a party to say our presidential candidate is X, but if you won’t accept that, our presidential candidate is Y.

    The state’s argument is very unconvincing because 4 times they let a party change its mind about one of its national nominees. There is no procedure in the Michigan law for a party to change its mind either, but that was permitted under the general idea that a party is free to choose its nominee, period, whether it is a change of mind or a conditional nominee.

    The court mostly said we should have raised this issue long ago, ignoring the fact that the state didn’t refuse Gary Johnson of Austin Texas until September 7.

    If it were being done all over again, and assuming this case won’t be won after the election, the Michigan LP should have simply certified Gary Johnson of Austin Texas in June, after its state convention. There would have been no excuse not to accept that.

  9. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Too many 3rd party and independent delusional / utopian AMATEURS — NOT knowing what in Hell they are doing (or NOT doing) to get ballot access — which has been a W-A-R type event since the 1968 SCOTUS case in Williams v. Rhodes.

    What infamous MORON caused the Johnson paperwork to be filed the now infamous 3 minutes late ???

    A GOP spy ???

  10. Cyric Renner · · Reply

    I do not even know with these new electronic voting devices if votes are even going to be counted. Watch for legislation banning exit polling to seal the deal.

  11. Cyric Renner · · Reply

    These are Federal courts that are making these decisions correct ? I cannot understand why they are so biased and clearly ignoring precedent ?

    What would be their political motivation for keeping Johnson off the ballot ? These are federal Judges correct ? So presumably they are not in the bag for the Republicans.

    I do not know what’s going on. Looks like Michigan is a no go. Not sure the LP’s are getting good legal representation in these cases, as they keep losing them one by one, when clearly the law is on their side.

  12. “What infamous MORON caused the Johnson paperwork to be filed the now infamous 3 minutes late ???

    A GOP spy ???”

    Not a spy, the actual GOP – as in the SOS office. They received it in time and sat on it on purpose.

    Not that this should have mattered, since prior to this no sore loser law ever applied to presidential candidates.

  13. Demo Rep · · Reply

    How many States have ANY rational LAWS about replacing candidates who die, quit, etc. — for ANY office ???

    — noting the special Electors stuff for Prez/VP candidates.
    WILL the LPM (and national LP) appeal ALL of the *final* JUNK Mich opinions 1 by 1 to SCOTUS, if necessary — in time for the 2016 Prez/VP election ???

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