Gary Johnson sues Michigan for spot on ballot

Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson is suing Michigan’s Secretary of State for not allowing him to be placed on the ballot in November. The state argues that the sore loser laws don’t allow primary candidates to appear in the general election ballot as a candidate from a different party, even though Johnson filed to withdraw from the GOP primary three minutes after the 4pm December 9th deadline.

The suit accuses the state of violating due process, equal protection, voting and other rights granted by the First and 14th Amendments. It also says Michigan has never before applied the sore loser law.

Johnson could be allowed to run as an independent if he gathers at least 30,000 valid signatures by July 19 – something Libertarians say is proof the existing law should not stand up in court.

Not allowing Johnson to run as a Libertarian but letting him try as an independent shows there is “scant state interest” in applying the sore loser law to presidential candidates, the suit says.

Gisgie Gendreau, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state, said while it would be premature to comment on the lawsuit itself, state law required that Johnson’s name not go on the November ballot.

Read the rest at MLive: Libertarian Gary Johnson sues Michigan for spot on ballot – missed deadline by 3 minutes

Gary Johnson is the former Governor of New Mexico and is currently running for President as the Libertarian Party nominee.

14 thoughts on “Gary Johnson sues Michigan for spot on ballot

  1. Richard Winger

    The most important point about this lawsuit is that Michigan previously determined the law doesn’t apply to presidential primaries. That happened in 1980. Furthermore, there is no state that has ever barred any party from listing its presidential candidate on the November ballot on the grounds that the candidate had run in the presidential primary of another party (until Michigan 2012).

  2. zapper

    Johnson filed to withdraw from the GOP primary *** three minutes after *** the 4pm December 9th deadline.

    Oops …

  3. Nick Kruse

    If Gary Johnson of Texas is on the ballot, would votes for him count for the 5% needed to received matching funds in 2016?

  4. paulie

    The most important point about this lawsuit is that Michigan previously determined the law doesn’t apply to presidential primaries. That happened in 1980. Furthermore, there is no state that has ever barred any party from listing its presidential candidate on the November ballot on the grounds that the candidate had run in the presidential primary of another party (until Michigan 2012).

    Sounds like the lawsuit should be a slam dunk then.

  5. Richard Winger

    #3, no, they wouldn’t count.

    For terminology purposes, the 5% gets a party general election public funding for president. It isn’t “matching”. The term “matching” only applies to primary season public funding.

  6. paulie

    The electoral college candidates being voted on in the general election were not on the primary ballot. The state’s case should, and hopefully will, be thrown out with haste and prejudice along with an admonishment for wasting the court’s time.

  7. Q2Q

    Why is he wasting LP money on this lawsuit? He has an alternative way of getting on the ballot, by running as an independent. This lawsuit is just going to waste money that should be going to advertising and GOTV efforts.

  8. Paulie

    No chance of collecting 30,000 valid signatures in the next two weeks, and that would be a lot more expensive than the lawsuit which is a very open and shut case.

    The state’s claim here is beyond ridiculous, against all precedent including in their own state, and they should also pay Johnson’s attorneys fees after they lose this time-wasting case.

    Sore loser laws don’t apply to presidential candidates, period.

    There is no way that we should ever consider allowing any state to get away with such nonsense.

  9. Paulie

    Maybe so, although he seems to be about 50-50 in that regard thus not really having any impact on the D/R balance.

    Doesn’t give them a legitimate excuse for pulling these kinds of dirty tactics though.

  10. Richard Winger

    The lawsuit is being handled by the Libertarian National Committee’s attorney, Gary Sinawski. So the lawsuit is not costing the Libertarian Party a lot of money. Although the Michigan Libertarian Party chipped in, the money will be reimbursed if the lawsuit wins.

  11. Bill Hall

    The Libertarian Party of Michigan is the lead plaintiff in this lawsuit and is paying for it. It is the organization with permanent ballot status in Michigan, which certified Governor Johnson’s name for the November ballot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *