Friday, July 27, 2012

[Lavender-issues] RELEASE Georgia Green, Constitution Parties seek reversal of court's dismissal of lawsuit against unfair ballot access laws

Georgia Green Party

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

For further information, contact:
    404-424-8750, extension 3

Plaintiffs Move Reconsideration of Federal Court Dismissal of Ballot Access Litigation

Responding to last week's federal court order dismissing litigation brought on behalf of the Georgia Green Party and the Constitution Party of Georgia challenging the unconstitutional barriers to Georgia's ballot faced by their candidates, Decatur attorney Mike Raffauf yesterday filed a Motion for Reconsideration in Georgia's Northern District Court.

"Georgia voters deserve to make their own choices in this year's Presidential election," said Bruce Dixon, chairman of the Georgia Green Party. "It's absurd that these laws are depriving them of that choice and discrediting the electoral process."

Last weekend, the Green Party's fourth presidential nominating convention, held in Baltimore Maryland, nominated Jill Stein of Massachusetts and Cheri Honkala of Pennsylvania to run as its Presidential ticket in 2012. The week before, the Stein campaign announced that it had surmounted the threshold to qualify their effort for federal primary season matching funds, a first for a Green Party Presidential slate.

Georgia adopted its ballot access barriers (codified as 21-2-170 through 21-2-187), in 1943 to close off access to the General Election ballot to black candidates who were already prohibited by Party rule from participation in the then all-white primaries conducted by the Georgia Democratic Party.

While often litigated, the courts have consistently turned back challenges to the constitutionality of the Georgia regime, although it is widely recognized as the most prohibitive barrier faced by emerging party and independent candidates in the world. The courts have invariably relied on a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court opinion rendered in a Georgia case called Jenness v Fortson. But Raffauf's motion for reconsideration distinguishes that case (which dealt with a Congressional race) from the current one (which deals with the Presidential race) and raises a number of cases on point which support plaintiff's contention that the defendants can present no compelling state interest sufficient to justify the infringement of voters' rights created by the Georgia Election Code.

"As Dr. Stein so often puts it, the politics of fear have brought us everything we are afraid of," said Denice Traina, Secretary of the Georgia Green Party, referring to the escalating imperial wars of occupation, the legalization and enhancement of the Bush administration's surveillance state tactics aimed at U.S. citizens, the bailouts of the financial institutions whose gambling with American assets tanked the economy, record high deportations of our undocumented immigrant neighbors, a new generation of poisonous nuclear reactors, new off-shore and Alaskan oil exploitation in the midst of the BP crimes in the Gulf of Mexico, support for the Keystone pipeline and natural gas fracking and a range of other issues which make it increasingly difficult to "distinguish the lesser evil from the more effective evil".

Green activists continue to knock on doors supporting the ballot access efforts of the Georgia Green Party's 2012 slate. The Party faces a 12:00 noon, August 6th deadline for filing their ballot access petitions.

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For background, please see:

Ballot Access Litigation, 2012

Ballot Access News

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