Alabama’s Swanson Case to Hit USSC

From Ballot Access News:


Swanson v Alabama Secretary of State, the ballot access case filed in 2002, will soon be before the U.S. Supreme Court. The cert petition will be filed in a week. Printing costs are being born half by the Center for Competitive Democracy, and half by the Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE). Thanks to all of you who have contributed to COFOE over the years.

The case challenges the 3% petition (for all new party and independent candidates, except for presidential independents) combined with the early June petition deadline.


From Wiki:
Swanson ran for the United States Senate as a candidate of a newly formed political party, the Independent Democrats of Alabama, in Alabama’s general election of 2002. The state of Alabama denied Swanson ballot access for failure to comply with two requirements of state law.

On June 4, 2002, Petitioner filed an initial complaint, which was later amended, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The amended complaint alleged that Alabama’s ballot access laws violated the Qualifications Clause, the Interstate Commerce Clause and the First, Tenth, Fourteenth, and Seventeenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The District Court denied petitioners the injunctive relief requested.

Swanson to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and raised two legal issues: Does Alabama’s three-percent signature requirement impose an unconstitutional burden on candidates’ and voters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights? Does Alabama’s new filing deadline, combined with the three-percent signature requirement, impose an unconstitutional burden on candidates’ and voters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights?

The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s granting of summary judgment to Defendants on all claims.

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