ARIZONA LIBERTARIAN PARTY v KATIE HOBBS

The Court basically got it wrong, on both the facts and the law. Being required to collect 35 times as many signatures to qualify for the ballot compared to the decades before the change in the law is not a "modest" burden on the Libertarian Party’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.  The requirement of having Libertarian Party candidates to collect signatures from registered Independents dilutes the Libertarian brand and violates any party’s right to freedom of association.

 

In their zeal to even the number of signatures required by each candidate, Arizona lawmakers lost sight of the fact that it is the Party that earned a spot on the ballot with candidates vying to fill that spot reserved for the Party's nominee. Therefore, the Court should have ruled that the number of signatures required be the same percentage of the total party membership, as it was before the law in dispute, was passed.  The Republican lawmakers, who pushed for the passage of this particular law, needed to justify their attempt, so they forced libertarians to solicit ballot signatures from people not associated with libertarians or the libertarian philosophy, and who may not vote in the Libertarian Party Primary.


After the Arizona Republican lawmakers got these signing requirements passed in 2013 through House Bill #2305, a successful Citizens Referendum forced the issue to the ballot.  The same Republican Arizona legislators then had these laws repealed, in their effort to preserve their integrity with the people.  Interestingly though, just one year later, through the Arizona Republican leadership, these same ballot signature requirements had again been resubmitted through HB #2608.

The People deserve and are supposed to be guaranteed free elections with as many choices as possible.  Having Libertarians and others in elections makes this possible.  Instead of restricting the number of options from which the citizenry have to choose, the court should be enlarging it.


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  • Jacob K
    Another reason I left the republican party last year. Proudly registered as a libertarian with my wife now. Libertarian party should create a voluntary list containing names of every registered libertarian willing to sign petitions to put candidates on the ballot. You have two in this house.