Libertarian Party

Libertarian Party of Connecticut, with Help of ACLU, Wins Ballot Access Petitioner Lawsuit

State practice of requiring signature-gatherers to be residents of Connecticut overturned by U.S. District Court judge


Ballot access is a long, complicated, expensive slog for third parties and independent candidates, and states often throw silly spanners into the works just to make it more complicated.

ACLU of Connecticut

The state of Connecticut, for example, had a law requiring that anyone who collected signatures for ballot access has to be a resident of the state.

Since the ballot petitioner economy is more or less built on itinerant activist pros or semipros, this requirement made the already difficult job of ballot access even harder.

The Libertarian Party of Connecticut sued over the law, with the help of the ACLU of Connecticut, and won this week.

Excerpt from the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Janet C. Hall:

the challenged petitioning statutes, which require that petition circulators in Connecticut be residents of the State of Connecticut, contravene the Plaintiff's First Amendment rights. The Court has also determined that the loss of First Amendment rights of Plaintiff constitutes an irreparable injury, that the balance of equities favors an injunction, and that an injunction is in the public interest. In light of this Court's conclusion of unconstitutionality of a portion of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-453e that requires a petition circulator to be a resident of Connecticut…[the state is forbidden to continue enforcing only those aspects of the law relating to the collector being a state resident]

An ACLU of Connecticut press release, which reads in part:

Political parties typically hire professionals, including those from other states, to gather signatures, but Connecticut's law forbids the use of these out-of-state circulators. In today's ruling, U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall called this law "a severe burden" on the Libertarian Party of Connecticut's speech.

"This decision is good news for free speech," said Dan Barrett, the ACLU of Connecticut's legal director and an attorney in the case. "The Libertarian Party deserves the chance to deliver its message by hiring signature-gatherers based on their qualifications, not their zip codes. Today's injunction is in line with what other federal courts across the country have said: restricting parties from hiring out-of-state circulators violates the First Amendment. We look forward to moving ahead with the case and winning a favorable final judgment."

NEXT: Hillary Clinton's Economic Policy Speech Was as Awful as Trump's

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  1. ALCU???

    1. Sometimes the ACLU aren't partisan hacks.

      1. No, I believe he was pointing out than Brian is dyslexic.

        1. that. dammit.

      2. Maybe they're partisan hacks for the watermelons?

  2. To heck with signature requirements.

    While as I understand it, you can sign a ballot access petition without committing to support the party whose access you support, in practice the more popular a party is, the more people will be willing to sign these petitions.

    So access to a ballot is at least in part dependent on popularity.

    And since petition signatures are public records, then the principle of a secret ballot is undermined.

    The whole point of a secret ballot is so that people don't have to worry about retaliation for their political positions.

    1. Naw, I sign all ballot petitions, because I support democracy.

      1. Some people even sign petitions that say "I am a moron who doesn't read petitions".

        1. No, I always read them, if for no other reason than to avoid signing the same one twice.

          1. I always read them because it takes up the petitioner's time where he can't talk to someone else - especially if I'm constantly asking questions. Then, when I'm confident that I understand the petitioner's position and its ramifications, I decline to sign because 99.9999999999% of the time its for some bullshit.

      2. "Naw, I sign all ballot petitions, because I support democracy."

        That is truly awesome, but some people sign petitions because they agree with the party.

    1. Top Gun 2 will fix all that. (For US Naval Aviation.)

      1. You can be my wingman half-naked vollyball partner, anytime!

    2. This is on a 10-15 year cycle. The AF has no pilots because the airlines are hiring. And people have seen this coming for years and done nothing. If the AF had brain fucking one they'd petition Congress to build more pilots a few years out from these extremely predictable events.

      But now they are going to spend 10X in crisis mode in paying bonuses and spinning up pilot training bases.

      1. Or, now follow me here, we could not hire people to pilot planes in overseas adventures that we have no business engaging in.

        1. That will do us well when World War 3 starts in the South China Sea.


          1. So, you think America should play empire, employ a standing army, and keep the peace?
            Because, without John Kerry flying around the world and America stationing troops around the world, then WWW III will happen the very next Tuesday?

            1. So, you think America should play empire, employ a standing army, and keep the peace?

              No, absolutely not.

              Though, I fear shit will start near the Spratly Islands well before President Paul would be around to deal with it.

              1. Does this theoretical shit-start because

                a) we meddled too much,
                b) too little,
                c) or didn't inform the other regional nations that we were NOT going to step in and play intermediary when Big Daddy China starts enforcing things in its "Sphere of Influence"*

                (*or maybe we haven't come to the realization ourselves that we won't be allowed to play that role)

                or anything i might have not considered?

                1. The Chinese navy and merchant marine have been playing a game of chicken lately, particularly with Vietnam by ramming their fishing vessels every chance they get. This comes at a time when the Chinese government has decided to stoke up nationalism on this topic to distract from domestic issues, like corruption.

                  As much as I would like to see "C", I don't see that happening anytime soon. Especially since we are supposed to be "pivoting toward Asia" for whatever reason. With American naval vessels in the area, I believe it will be only a matter of time before an overzealous Chinese cutter decides to test how flimsy we paper tigers are.

                  1. An American carrier group is nothing like a stray boat in the straights of hormez.
                    The Chinese, under the rules that we and Europe assume to be true, have every right to throw their weight around in the Pacific.
                    We would not, I hope, start a war if China "detained" a ship. We are dealing from as position of strength. And China has more claim to dictate terms in the Eastern Pacific than we do.
                    It is only American hubris that says we should stop China from influencing the area where they are the biggest influence.

                    1. The Chinese, under the rules that we and Europe assume to be true, have every right to throw their weight around in the Pacific.

                      Not according to the recent Hague trial in regards to the South China Sea, as HM's videos mention. They ruled specifically in favour of the Phillippines, and the Chinese threw a hissy fit and declared it an illegitimate court.

                      China does not have more claim to dictate that these are their waters, and fuck everybody else around them.

                    2. The Chinese, under the rules that we and Europe assume to be true, have every right to throw their weight around in the Pacific.

                      that's not exactly right.

                      they have the right to free navigation, same as everyone else.

                      they don't have "the right" to plant flags on disputed sandbars in the midst of recognized waterways and declare their new territorial waters extend hundreds of miles further than any other nation on earth.

                  2. Still not sure what answer you chose. I was curious what you think the actual 'shit-starting scenario' is. this? =

                    With American naval vessels in the area, I believe it will be only a matter of time before an overzealous Chinese cutter decides to test how flimsy we paper tigers are.

                    ok, so is the idea then that the US, in order to avoid conflict, should simply cede to the Chinese and let them rewrite the mare librum wherever/however they want?

                    Is the failure to acknowledge & accommodate to their territorial ambitions 'meddling' on the part of the US?

                    Is the correct libertarian posture to assume that, "well, the locals should sort this out first before we chime in - and then, only diplomatically"?

                    (*even knowing that the locals would purposely try and drag us into their own fight if they got a whiff that we were 'backing away')

                    I'm just not sure what the doctrinaire "solution" is supposed to be.

                    1. Well, I'm not sure. But I'm willing to admit that. Look, part of what made America great was the Truman doctrine, and both the balls and the ability to enforce it. Did that make it right? Do we have any legitimate right to tell China that they can't claim whatever atoll they want, and more importantly, do we wish to enforce our edict?
                      As long as China recognizes our policing of the seas , and even helps us, why is it America's business which neo colonial nation controls Indonesia or Thailand or the Philippines?

        2. Well, as it takes 3-4 years to build a guy who's even close to competent, you are prolly going to need them on-hand in case you bump into an adventure we do have business in.

          We can argue about the "right" number, wrt the national defense strategy, but there is a minimum number given the current commitments.

          1. Sure, I get that. The no standing army thing doesn't really survive into modern times. But, my view is a standing skeleton staff, flag officers, warrant officers, NCO's, and some maintenance staff. Then, if shit gets real, you have a draft.
            That way, we're ready to mobilize at the drop of a hat, but there are serious disencentives to going to war.
            America's role as world cop is an anomaly, and we kinda inherited it from the British empire. I have no problem with our Navy patrolling the sea, but why do we have troops stationed in hundreds of countries around the globe?

            1. but why do we have troops stationed in hundreds of countries around the globe?

              You'll get no argument from me on that score. We should have a formidable force with a strategy rooted in self defense. I see zero need for deployed troops throughout the world.

              That said, sometimes self defense requires going on the offensive after you're attacked and there needs to be the capability to do that.

              1. Sure. But, to pretend that the most powerful military in world history, one that is more powerful than the next 5 combined, is weak because we make some superficial cuts, is ridiculous. I know, I'm preaching to the choir.
                My real problem with the US playing empire abroad is that, you can't have an empire abroad and a free republic at home. And history is littered with examples, which is why or founding fathers tried to install safeguards against America acting that way.

            2. No draft. Ever. If you have to have a draft then you simply don't deserve to exist as a nation.

              1. No. You're missing the point. A professional army can't bitch: they're basically mercenaries. Whereas a Congress that needs to draft personnel in order to wage war might just hesitate before committing to Iraq, etc.

                1. A professional army can't bitch: they're basically mercenaries.

                  Somebody should tell that to our professional army. "If you haven't worn the uniform, you have no right to say anything about foreign policy." "You should stop criticizing our country and start thanking me for my service" #shitpeoplewhoarebasicallymercenariesliketosay

            3. Um, no draft. Fuck a bunch of that.

              As for the "right" number of pilots, there is no way to calculate that. Remember Mises' calculation argument against socialism? It also applied to the military, since, at present, it is a socialist institution.

              1. there is no way to calculate that

                Respectfully, no.

                You know the capabilities of the threat and those of of your own aircraft. You can estimate a likely scenario of how they'd be employed against likely foe. You know mission capability rates so you know the number of jets required to be victorious in those scenarios. If You know the number of aircraft required, you know the number of pilots you need to man them.

                The largest variability in this estimation is the civilian leadership defining the NMS.

    3. The Navy has come up with plans to reduce its reliance on modern electronics to make its force harder to trace, going so far as to have sailors re-learn navigating by the stars instead of using the Global Positioning System, he said.

      Uhm, the Navy never stopped using celestial navigation. When I worked in Navigation we had each watchstander, every watch, calculate a fix or sunline and compare it to our DR and GPS fixes, both for practice at doing it and 'just in case' something's gone wrong/GPS being spoofed.

      1. "We realized that we didn't have the right solution because, you know, Seaman Hicks decided she wanted to check her Facebook page, and so she walked out on the weather deck at night with her phone, and what's that phone got? It's got GPS. So anybody in the world is going to know there's some GPS somewhere out floating across the ocean, most probably on a ship," Neller said.

        That's, uhm, not how GPS works. GPS receivers are completely passive. And you don't check Facebook with GPS.

        Oh, and Seaman Hicks would a) not be out on the weatherdecks at night, know enough to not turn her bright ass phone on after darken ship was set, would check Facebook on the ship's computer network - because she can't get a signal that far out to sea. And if she gets a signal, its because you're within sight of civilization so everybody already knows where you are.

        1. I was in the nav before teh interwebz... I can't imagine what it's like now.
          Phones and Facebook aboard ship? Jesus.

    4. Maybe, *maybe*, if the AF relaxes their recruiting standards a tad, they might find the people they need. At least enough to fill their 4,000 person mechanic shortfall.

  3. Quote of the day: "Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners." ?George Carlin

  4. Ladies and gentlemen, here it is: The Platonic ideal of a modern progressive intellectual

    1. I wrote my PhD dissertation on the social function of humor (in literature & film) and here's the thing about "just joking."

    You can read the rest, all 23 tweets in their insipid glory.

    1. He is a study in wasted education...

      Also, is there some basis for his Trump "just joking" rant? Did Trump utter that in reference to the "Second Amendment people" thing?

      Or, is this guy just sniffing his own farts?

      1. Erza Klein hasn't sniffed anything since his own ass since The Lightbringer was elected.

        He's Obama's Smithers.

        1. Behold! He speaks the truth!

          /would've liked to find the "sniffing your crotch" scene, but no luck.

    2. So that's how you get someone outside of your committee to actually read your dissertation.

      Kinda desperate, but whatever works.

      Also, it always pisses me off when I read one that is about 1/2 the length of mine, including appendices.

      Fuck that shit.

      1. I gave it a quick scan...and nowhere did I see any reference to speech act theory, nowhere did I see any reference to pragmatics, nowhere did I see reference to...well...anything. It was just a loose collection of about 5 essays where Steed pontificated on Jewish humor. I could not glean any sort of theoretical framework, nor did I gather any sense of what his work was supposed to accomplish.

        I'm not fond of disciplinary pissing-matches, but if this is representative of the discipline, fuck English with a rusty spoon.

        1. Why a spoon, cousin?

          (I apologize for my levity, HM - this is clearly of significance to you and others)

          1. The utensil is of no significance, really.

            What matters is that it corroded from oxidation.

          2. And after having to play a medley from the soundtrack of Robin Hood every year for 4 years in symphonic wind band, I must say I am triggered.

            1. I was typing a clarification/apology for my lack of clarity, HM, and having refreshed the thread I now see that I have no need to post it.

            2. What do you have against Korngold's music?

          3. Cause HM loves to spoon

        2. HM, I would love to read your dissertation. But I understand if you don't want to divulge your identity. I was half-chubbed at your mention of speech act theory, and at full salute when you mentioned pragmatics.

      2. Ooh, look at me, I have a doctorate, and I can use words and everything, la te da....
        Just kidding ( but still sarcastically sipping my whiskey with my pinky finger held out)

        1. Whiskey serves a social function.

          1. Yes, it softens my assholeishness in real life, but makes me rude on line.
            Seriously, HM, I enjoy you're erudite posts. What is your field? I have read your thoughts on language and word usage/history, and really enjoy it. In another world, the history of languages would be my career.

            1. Applied Linguistics, specifically second language acquisition in adults.

              1. What's your thoughts on the critical period? I've been trying my own method for learning Japanese these past couple of decades. Started from zero at age 27. Of course total immersion helps to a degree, but can't help thinking a clear limit exists.

                1. What's your thoughts on the critical period?

                  Struggle is real. However, the critical period has been shown to really only impede the full resetting of phonological parameters. It is possible to achieve native-like proficiency in everything else, the only variables are effort and time...most people will still always have some sort of accent though.

                  1. So post puberty and most of us will struggle. Cerebral lateralization is complete. Feels to me learning a second language after the CP is similar to trying to walk on your hands as everyone around you is walking on their feet.

                    1. Feels to me learning a second language after the CP is similar to trying to walk on your hands as everyone around you is walking on their feet.

                      Again, I believe that's true if you're trying to learn language (or learn how to walk) like children do. What I've found is that adults learn differently than children, so it makes no sense to teach them a second language like we do a first language. What we can do with adults that we can't do with children is teach them how language works, teach them linguistics, basically. Adults can use information about how syntax works, about semantics, phonemes, etc. and apply it to learn any language they want.

                    2. Children get the advantage of not being aware of grammatical structure. Adults get the advantage of knowing grammatical structure. Ignorance is bliss. Or "Ignorance is the Buddha" if you want to know the Japanese idiom.

                  2. most people will still always have some sort of accent though.

                    out of curiosity... what's the deal on 'accent change'?

                    I have some limited, interesting experience. Mom is from the south, dad is half-irish. Mom has strong accent and we spent childhood down there so i (can) have latent southern drawl which can sometimes be triggered by other people's. Dad has basically no accent ever, but when he gets very sleepy he sounds like it comes back.

                    When i went to school in the south, i rediscovered my twang; when i came back to NY it vanished. (leading me to believe it was purely a product of environment and something that easily changed).

                    then i went to work for british firm, and saw an interesting effect - over course of 8 years, a number of brits came to NY, and maybe half slowly moderated their own accent (* not becoming 'more NY-ish', but losing whatever regional sounds they had when they arrived. particularly the Mancs/northerners). ... but the other half changed not-at-all.

                    I have one london buddy who came to the US 20 years ago, and he sounds absolutely identical to when he first got off the boat (plane, whatever); on the other hand, i know a US dame who went to the UK for 5 years, and when she came back, she sounded like a freaking joke - with a very odd quasi british accent. all her articulation changed.

                    anyway, its always been something i've been curious about.

                    1. out of curiosity... what's the deal on 'accent change'?

                      A lot of work in sociolinguistics comes to mind. Resistance to accent change has been shown to be correlated to how much one identifies with one's home culture over the target dialect or culture. I do think there is some hard-wired instinct to want to talk like the other people around us do.

                    2. Resistance to accent change has been shown to be correlated to how much one identifies with one's home culture over the target dialect or culture

                      i feel like puffing a pipe and saying, "well......DUUUHHHHH" 🙂

                      i saw a news interview with a bunch of U. South Carolina students, and was surprised that almost none had anything like a thick SC accent. i remarked on this to someone else (who happened to be from Georgia) and they said, "kids lose it faster these days".

                      Not sure what/if any evidence there is for that claim, but would find it interesting if so. i do think that point of "identification with home culture" is a bigger deal in parts of the south.

                    3. What I find interesting is that over the past 30 years the accent here in southern NH and VT has slowly shifted to General American. I remember as a kid, having just moved up here that people sounded more like you'd expect your typical Bostonian to sound like, but now, once you reach Nashua, we all sound like Midwestern newscasters. And I think it's entirely because people here didn't want to be associated with Massholes.

                    4. And yet, the Massholes all moved up to Nashua.

                    5. I do think there is some hard-wired instinct to want to talk like the other people around us do.

                      Oh yah.

                      /me after working with my Minnesoda colleagues for an hour or so on the phone.

                    6. Grew up in Wisconsin, but moved abroad after University. It had been ten years since I'd been there when I took my wife to visit for the first time. I couldn't understand a lot of what they were saying. My wife, despite English being her second language, actually had to pull me aside a couple times. "He's asking how many people, idiot."

                    7. My wife, despite English being her second language, actually had to pull me aside a couple times. "He's asking how many people, idiot."

                      Ha! That's awesome. I do experience some sluggishness when I have to switch gears between languages. My daughter, on the other hand, can code-switch effortlessly. One theory is that I have my lexicon for both languages in two different "places" in the brain, whereas, she only has one big lexicon.

                    8. It sure feels like it's in two places, doesn't it? Females definitely seem to have some advantage. Developed out of evolutionary necessity. In my defense, Northern Wisconsinites pronounce the word "People" unlike any humans on the planet.

                2. The critical period appears to be 12 years old, give or take a few. After 12, you will have an accent.

              2. That's really cool and no sarcasm. On a different life, I could totally see myself getting into that.
                So, how do you learn a second language as an adult if you've never learned a second as child? My understanding is that, if you learn a second language as a child then you will always have advantage in learning languages even as an adult, but that if that window closes, it will always be very difficult learn another language as an adult. I took a little Spanish in high school. But wasn't anywhere near proficient. I lived down by the border, and once got to the point where i could think in Spanish, but that ability has faded since I no longer use it on a daily basis.

                1. So, how do you learn a second language as an adult if you've never learned a second as child?

                  Well, there are six major schools of thought about how second language acquisition/learning works. In short, pretty much all agree that the process is different. One of the advantages adults have is that they already know a language, so they can apply the metalinguistic knowledge they have (like how grammar works in their 1st language) to help them learn the second language.

                  While children can "acquire" a language pretty much effortlessly, adults following the same route will find it difficult. However, what adults can do is analyze language in a way children don't have the knowledge and skill to do.

                  And, use it or lose it is absolutely true. I took 7 years of French. I wrote papers in French. After almost 15 years of neglect..I can barely construct a sentence in the language. However, like straffinrun, I started to learn Thai at 25. It's the language I use with my wife around the house for the past 12 years, and I would definitely say that I'm fully conversationally fluent in it. Though, I've accepted that I will always have an accent...just like I was teasing my wife today about "sneks".

                  1. OK. That's encouraging. Tell me, do you agree, that in order to be really proficient in a language, you must be able to think in that language?

                    1. Well, yes. I believe language is one level of thought. So knowing a language means conceptualizing in that language.

                    2. Me like words.


                    4. Yeah. When I was living on the border, I stopped translating my English thought into Spanish language. I got proficient enough that I started thinking in Spanish. But, since Spanish was not as advanced as my English, my thoughts were also less advanced? Is that right?

                    5. * since my Spanish

                    6. But, since Spanish was not as advanced as my English, my thoughts were also less advanced? Is that right?

                      I would blame the tequila and presence of chicas lindas for that.

                      Again, there are different schools of thought about "interlanguage". I would argue that your thoughts were just as sophisticated, you just couldn't map your concepts to words and syntactic structures as easily as you could in English.

                    7. I went to Oberlin, where I earned my PhD in Problematics, with a minor in Grievance Theory. Here: let me explain to you some problems I've found with popular culture and white heterosexual males...

                    8. Well yes. I thought that was I tried to say: because my Spanish skills were lacking, then necessarily, when I tried to articulate a thought in Spanish, I came up short. Or something.
                      We, or at least I, think in language. If my language skills are deficient, then so is my thinking.

                    9. I'm having a hard time believing you remember dialogue from Firefox?

                    10. Awesome movie.

                      Ever notice how stealthy it looked, years before the general public had even heard of stealth?

    3. Of course humor is a social act. At its best, it ridicules people who need ridicule.

      People's whose worldview is ridiculous are of course threatened by ridicule.

      I haven't read this particular fellow's dissertation - for all I know he may be a Burkean conservative - but in general, it seems to be people on the Left who are the most outraged and indignant at being mocked. They probably know on some level that they are vulnerable to mockery. Because their ideas are stupid.

      1. Meanwhile, left-wing comedians have "no sacred cows" so long as they make 1,000 Trump jokes in a row.

    4. I wrapped fish in that Twitter 2 days ago

      1. Ugh, these euphemisms are getting... smelly.

    5. That man looks and sounds like he shits tic-tacs. soy-flavored tic-tacs.

    6. Humor died with Rich Little.

    7. The thing is, if one doesn't "accept/assimilate" the idea of armed revolt as valid in a political system, one has no way to "accept/assimilate" the existence of the United States as a political entity separate from the British Empire.

  5. If Gary Johnson would have ran for senate in New Mexico in any year after he was governor; He may have actually accomplished something by now. OT. Had a moderate liberal friend that can't vote for either party's candidate. He asked me if the libertarian {Gary Johnson} party was alright. I showed him the video of the libertarian guy stripping on camera.


    1. But it kept those thighs slick

  7. The housing 'crisis' is long past in CA. Whatever you overpaid in the hopes of getting rich quick has been shaken out of the market in the last 8 years, and generally housing costs are increasing.
    But wait! There's still a need for gov't distortion of the market!

    "Keep Your Home California"
    Ready to hand out taxpayer money to those too dumb to figure mortgage payments (and I presume that means commie-kid).
    And keep SEIU members employed!

  8. Haven't had any time for posting today. But I just want to say that I'm so glad that the 'liberals' in charge finally decided to rid us of that ridiculous schedule 1 on cannabis, and this is why we must vote for 'liberals' because.... oh wait...

    1. Well, you have to admit that Obo's hands are really tied in this case...oh, wait...

  9. The Libertarian Party can't save you. The Trump can't save you. The only person that can save you, is you.

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