BAN 4/19/12: Maine Supreme Court unanimously rules that Ralph Nader is entitled to a trial in his claims against the Democratic Party in 2004
- Maine Supreme Court unanimously rules that Ralph Nader is entitled to a trial in his claims against the Democratic Party in 2004Ballot Access News
April 19, 2012On April 19, the Maine Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Ralph Nader’s lawsuit for damages against the Democratic Party and its allies, concerning that party’s attempts to keep him off the ballot in 17 states in the 2004 presidential election, is entitled to a trial. This means that the lower court must hear the evidence that Nader wishes to present. The decision is Nader v The Maine Democratic Party, 2012 ME 57. The decision is 21 pages and there is a concurrence of 9 pages.The opening paragraph of the decision is, “In this appeal we consider whether the Maine anti-SLAPP statute may be invoked to deprive a minor-party candidate of his day in court on a suit in which he alleges that he was subject to abuses of process, damaging to his candidacy, by organizations and individuals who conspired to take actions to prevent or complicate his inclusion on the ballot in Maine and other jurisdictions during the 2004 presidential election. We conclude that the Maine anti-SLAPP statute may not be invoked to achieve dismissal of claims alleging abuses of process without giving the plaintiff the opportunity to establish a prima facie case to support the claims.”The decision has a paragraph about ballot access, which makes it clear that ballot access for independent candidates is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
UPDATE: here is a story about the decision from Maine Public Radio. http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineHeadlineNews/tabid/968/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3479/ItemId/21445/Default.aspx