[Marxism] The Supremes singing a new tune...

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 05:16:44 MDT 2009

This is a solid legal win...but also a measure of how far the
bipartisan disenfranchisement of any alternatives has actually gone in
the US....



LOS ANGELES, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In a significant move for
open-election laws, the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an attempt
to overturn a federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision that
the state of Arizona could not require independent presidential
candidates to register earlier than candidates affiliated with major
political parties.

Arizona's petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court had been
closely watched after 13 other states supported Arizona's bid to have
the High Court hear the case. The federal civil rights case,
originally filed in Arizona federal district court, stems from Nader's
2004 presidency bid.

Ralph Nader had challenged the deadline, contending it violated his
First Amendment rights to free speech and political association. Lead
Attorney Robert Barnes of the Bernhoft Law Firm represented Nader
before the Ninth Circuit, which overturned the district court and
unanimously declared the Arizona law unconstitutional. Nader's
Bernhoft Law legal team successfully argued that requiring independent
candidates to register by June was unfair when the two major political
parties did not hold their conventions until the fall.

"By letting that decision stand, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed
that American democracy hinges on giving people a voice and a choice,"
says Robert Bernhoft, founding partner of Bernhoft Law. "Today's
decision is not only a victory for Ralph Nader, but a seminal victory
for all who care about free speech, free and open elections, and a
more participatory democracy."

In addition to the earlier deadline for independent candidates, the
Arizona law also required that petition circulators be registered to
vote in the state. "What makes this case unusually significant is that
it involved two distinct, important issues, and liberalized ballot
access prevailed on both," says Richard Winger, editor of the
influential Ballot Access News. Winger also noted that this
development could have "immediate repercussions," since ballot access
cases are currently pending in 15 other states.

Bernhoft Law has offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles, California.

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