U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Arizona Libertarian Party Effort To Change Signature Gathering Law

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 8:15am

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a bid by Arizona's Libertarian Party to void a law designed to keep its candidates off the ballot.  

The decision upholds a barrier erected in 2015 by state Republicans.

Without comment, on Monday, the justices upheld a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. It let stand the GOP-sponsored law forcing Libertarians to gather up to 30 times more signatures to qualify for the ballot by adding independents to the party's pool of voters.

Instead of requiring signatures from one half of one percent of all registered Libertarians, the law lowered that threshold to one quarter of one percent. Meanwhile, it also expanded the base to also include independents, which dramatically increased the signature collection requirement.

In that 2019 ruling, the 9th Circuit acknowledged the law made it more difficult for Libertarians to qualify for the ballot. But it also pointed to the Libertarian Party's own exclusionary policy for its troubles by allowing only party members to participate in its primaries.

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