It’s been a long wait. I was a plaintiff in this lawsuit to strike down Montana’s unconstitutional election laws.
On November 8, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an Opinion in Montana Green Party v Jacobsen, 20-35340. It struck down the unequal signature distribution requirement that has existed for Montana petitions for new party recognition ever since 1981. The unequal distribution requirement was responsible for the Green Party’s petition failure in both 2018 and 2020. The three Judge panel rendered an opinion written by Judge Fletcher, which held that the case was not moot because of the change in the law, found that the District Court was correct on the First Amendment claim, but reversed the District Court as to the 14th Amendment claim as to the Equal Protection violation in regard to the discriminatory signature requirements in the State House districts. https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2021/11/08/20-35340.pdf
The original dispute was a result of the removal of all the Montana Green Party’s candidates from the general election ballot in 2018 by the Montana Supreme Court. The Supremes upheld the District Court’s Opinion, which removed Greens from the 2018 ballot over a small number of “irregular” signatures in several voting districts. The Democratic Party filed suit to protect Senator Tester from my U.S. Senate campaign as a Green Party candidate. After signatures had all been “certified,” and I had won the Primary election to become the Green Party’s nominee, Democrats filed a lawsuit to eliminate any competition from a “real left” challenge. Way back in January, 2019 I wrote a piece right here at POM on the lawsuit, and its possible implications. I was wrong about 2020. The Green Party and its candidates were again removed from the competition. Democrats scream bloody murder about “voter suppression” against ethnic minorities but are never tagged with voter suppression when it comes to Green Party candidates and ballot access manipulation to protect its left flank, which is usually exposed for all to see. https://pieceofmindful.com/2019/01/09/montana-green-party-clears-another-ballot-access-barrier/#more-82011
I was wrong about 2020. The Green Party and its candidates were again removed from the competition. There’s always 2022 for those still enthralled with electoral politics.
Only Arizona and Iowa remain as states that maintain unequal distribution requirements for candidate or party petitions. Neither state’s distribution requirement has ever been challenged in court.
Why did Democrats do it?
Q. “Now, if the Green Party qualifies for ballot access, how is the Montana Democratic Party affected?”
A. “We would have to put more resources on the ground to knock on different doors than we normally would.” “We would have to put out more expensive, more complicated polling.”
“We would have to hold more fundraisers, spend more resources trying to gather more money to pay for all of these things.”
The above quote is taken verbatim from a court recording during a hearing held by the Montana First Judicial District County of Lewis and Clark on May 17, 2018.
Well, that concludes my involvement in electoral politics. Boring, I know. That’s more than enough for one lifetime. I wouldn’t say I’m going out on a high note, just going out, never to run again, or vote again for that matter. What I have learned in a not so gentle way, I suppose, is that politics is irrelevant. That’s just how I see it at this point. There are no winners in politics, just losers. It’s a little embarrassing to look back at all that energy wasted, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. And we did scare the shit out of Sen. Tester for a few months before being dispatched by Hillary Clinton’s crack team of lawyers, who descended on little ole’ Montana and set everybody’s mind right. Mine will never be right.
The doctor said I might get better, but I’ll never get well… I’m gonna’ keep on boogyin’ till they roll me in a hearse…. King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar