Source: Ballot Access News
At the end of May 2011, the Socialist Party launched a petition drive to get itself on the Michigan ballot. Probably 2,000 signatures have been collected so far. The law requires 32,261 valid signatures. However, the law also required already-qualified parties to poll only 16,083 votes in November 2010 in order to stay on the ballot.
The Socialist Party believes it can at least get 16,083 valid signatures by the petition deadline, July 19, 2012. If so, it plans to file a lawsuit, alleging that the existing law discriminates against new parties, and in favor of old parties, by requiring twice as much support for a newly qualifying party to get on the ballot as it requires an old party to remain on. The U.S. Supreme Court 1968 decision Williams v Rhodes suggested that states cannot discriminate against old parties. Also, the four concurring justices in Communist Party of Indiana v Whitcomb, in 1974, said, “In Williams v Rhodes, this Court held that a discriminatory preference for established parties can justified only by a ‘compelling state interest’.” The Indiana ruling struck down an Indiana loyalty oath for political parties, but Indiana exempted the old parties from the oath. The concurring justices said the Indiana oath was unconstitutional because the law exempted old parties. The other five justices struck down the Indiana oath on First Amendment grounds.