Constitution Party’s Case Against Pennsylvania Legislature’s Failure to Pass a Constitutional Deadline Could Get Opinion At Any Time

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The Third Circuit could issue an opinion in Baldwin v Cortes at any time. There will be no oral argument, and the three judges will rule strictly from having read the briefs. Here is the Constitution Party’s opening brief; here is the state’s brief; here is the Constitution Party’s reply brief.

The case had been filed in U.S. District Court on August 29, 2008. It had argued that Article II of the U.S. Constitution requires that ballot access rules for presidential electors are invalid, unless they were passed by a state legislature. Article II says, “Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of (Presidential) Electors.”

The Pennsylvania petition deadline for minor party and independent candidate petitions, August 1, was never passed by the legislature. The Constitution Party submitted its statewide petition in Pennsylvania in mid-August, but the petition was rejected because it was late. But, the party argues that there is no valid deadline. The U.S. District Court refused any relief so the case is now pending in the 3rd circuit. The three judges on the panel are Thomas Ambro, a Clinton appointee; Jane Roth, a Bush Sr. appointee; and Leonard Garth, a Nixon appointee.

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