“U.S. District Court Puts Maine Libertarian Party on the Ballot for 2022”

Richard Wagner reports from Ballot Access News on Judge Lance E. Walker’s (D.) decision today. Me.) Me.) Baines v. Bellows:

It places the Libertarian Party on 2022’s ballot. The order permits Libertarians who wish to participate in the Libertarian Primary Election to obtain nomination signatures both from Libertarian voters and other independent voters.

Primary petitions must have 2,000 signatures from Governor. However, it won’t be an easy task for Libertarians if they want to run for the Libertarian primary vote for Governor. The only people who will sign the Libertarian primary poll for Governor are about one-third the electorate. U.S. House Candidates need 1000 signatures. Libertarians who are running for the legislature will have no problem getting on the Libertarian primary list, as State Senate candidates require 100 signatures while State House candidates require 25.

Ballot access law can be complicated. While I do know a lot about First Amendment law and I’m not an expert, here’s a sample from the Nov.11 summary judgment opinion. Today’s decision announces that the remedy is available for the constitutional violations identified.

This is a case about the legal-political infrastructure that an association of like-minded  citizens must navigate in Maine to qualify for ballot access as a minor political party and that party candidates must navigate to demonstrate local public support for their candidacies. It is essential to determine whether Maine’s law governing minor political parties has been a sufficient safeguard to allow them to freely associate and not an impermissible buffer.
to equal protection under the law ….

Also, the following is my decision as of today:

The [Summary Judgment]In an Order I found that Maine law prohibits candidates from ballot-qualified minor party candidates from showing popular support from nomination signatures from within-district voters. This deprives them of the right to political association with other like-minded voters. I also determined that Defendant’s “batch unenrollment” policy—under which the Secretary of State (the “Secretary”) automatically unenrolls a party’s members when the party loses ballot access for failure to enroll 10,000 voters—violated the associational rights of the Libertarian Party of Maine (the “Party”) where it retained in excess of 5,000 voters at the time.