9th Circuit Throws Out Arizona Libertarian Party Lawsuit Against Signature Requirements

By Daniel Perle
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Monday, June 3, 2019 - 8:44am
Updated: Monday, June 3, 2019 - 8:47am

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found against the Arizona Libertarian Party last week in its challenge of a law requiring the party to gather the signatures of one percent of all eligible Arizona voters to qualify for the primary ballot in elections.

The decision upholds a 2015 law the court cited as imposing only a minimal burden on the party.

Although Arizona has an open primary system for Republican and Democratic candidates, meaning independent voters can decide which party’s primary they want to vote in, Libertarian Party policy bars non-members from participating in its primary.

The state party’s secretary Jeff Daniels says the circuit court’s ruling would not be the end of its challenge against the law.

“I guess there is the ability to appeal the decision first of all and we’re obviously gonna try that first and then it’s grin and bear it.” 

GOP state Senator J.D. Mesnard acknowledged his party would benefit by having fewer votes for Libertarians as a result of the law when passing it in 2015. Since then, there have been fewer Libertarian candidates on ballots across the state.

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