Judge Rejects Libertarian Complaint Of Voter Rights' Violations In Arizona
A federal judge rejected Libertarian Party arguments on Monday that claimed a 2015 law violated their constitutional rights, even after the law’s Republican architects freely admitted it was designed to keep the opposing party off the Arizona ballot.
Once it passed, the requirement for placing a Libertarian candidate on a primary ballot jumped exponentially from as little as 133 signatures to more than 3,000.
During a Senate floor debate to pass the bill into law back in 2013 the bill’s author, who is now current House Speaker JD Mesnard, openly admitted his intent was to push Libertarians off the ballot.
"If you look at the last election there was at least one, probably two congressional seats that may have gone a different direction,” he explained to his fellow Republican members that if his bill became law it would likely limit Libertarians from sharing conservative votes.
The state’s former Libertarian Party Chairman Michael Kielsky said its passage restricts voters’ choices on the ballot.
"That means we have to change our message to appeal to things that the independents care about -- but not necessarily the Libertarians care about -- to be a Libertarian candidate,” Kielsky complained.
The U.S. District Judge decided the requirements were not skewed to a degree that it violated the rights of Libertarian voters or guidelines set by the U.S. Supreme Court.