Nader sues over Texas petition law
The Austin Chronicle reports: Today (Thursday) at 9am, the Ralph Nader campaign is scheduled to appear in federal court (200 W. Eighth) in a lawsuit (Nader et al. v. Connor) charging that the Texas ballot access law is unconstitutional on three grounds:
The May 10 deadline for signatures, earlier than any other state, is unnecessary and discriminatory;
The requirement that independent candidates collect more than 64,000 signatures -- nearly 20,000 more than the requirement for third party candidates -- is also discriminatory; and
The accelerated schedule for independent candidates (60 days to collect signatures vs. 75 days for third parties) has the same effect.
The Nader campaign charged that it was often hindered in gathering signatures in public places. Said Nader, "Democracy is under assault in Texas. Through unconstitutional laws and denial of access to public places, Texas voters are being denied more voices and more choices. One of the goals of this campaign is to open up the ballot in Texas not only for this campaign but for future campaigns by other candidates." -- Naked City: Nader sues Texas (The Austin Chronicle)
A lawyer for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader asked a federal judge Thursday to rule Texas' ballot-access rules unconstitutional because they limit the speech and voting rights of minor-party hopefuls and their supporters.
But, in a hearing to determine whether the name of the consumer advocate appears on the Texas presidential ballot in November, the state's lawyer argued that only Nader and his backers can be faulted for failing to have his candidacy certified.
Nader is suing Texas because the secretary of state's office ruled that he did not submit enough petition signatures from qualified voters by the May 10 deadline for independent candidates seeking the presidency. Texas Deputy Attorney General Ed Burbachc told U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel that other independent candidates had become certified in the past three presidential election cycles operating under the same rules being challenged by Nader.
"We submit that this candidate was not reasonably diligent in the state of Texas," Burbach told the judge, noting that billionaire businessman Ross Perot was certified as an independent president candidate on the Texas ballot in 1992 and 1996, and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan won Texas ballot access in 2000. --
Quick ruling promised in Nader's Texas case (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)