But under the Connecticut law, minor party candidates and independents have to show public support by raising the small contributions.
But then they must do more.
They have to gather a certain number of signatures – or show a certain level of voter support from past elections to qualify for the public funding.
These additional requirements did not please minor party and independent candidates in Connecticut.
So, they sued arguing that the law was unconstitutional in that it denied them their fundamental rights. (Green Party of Connecticut v. Garfield.)
In August, 2009, a federal court in Connecticut agreed.
In a 93-page decision, Judge Stefan Underhill ruled that by enhancing “the relative strength of major party candidates to the detriment of the political opportunity of minor party candidates,” the Connecticut law “imposes a discriminatory burden on minor party candidates’ fundamental rights.”
But in July 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, while admitting that the law’s burdens on independent and minor party candidates “come close to the outer edge of the constitutionally permitted range,” it nevertheless overturned Judge Underhill’s decision.
The plaintiffs are appealing that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
And guess who, lo and behold, has weighed in against the plaintiffs in this case?
Guess who doesn’t want the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case?
Three of the most in influential inside the Beltway public interest groups.
Their brief was filed by WilmerHale’s Seth Waxman – Bill Clinton’s former Solicitor General.
Regrettably, these groups have once again weighed in on the side of the two-party dictatorship.