In Sixth Circuit Ballot Access Case from Michigan, Court Suggests Jenness v. Fortson May No Longer Be Good Law


And although the Supreme Court upheld a five-percent signature requirement in Jenness v. Fortson, 403 U.S. 431, 438 (1971), that signature requirement was analyzed using a less stringent framework than that required by Anderson and Burdick. See Anderson, 460 U.S. at 817 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting) (distinguishing the standard used in Jenness from the “narrowly tailored” test applied in Anderson); see also Green Party of Georgia v. Kemp, 171 F. Supp. 3d 1340 (N.D. Ga. 2016) (finding a one-percent signature requirement to be a severe burden and setting a requirement of 7,500 signatures), aff’d 674 F. App’x 974 (11th Cir. 2017) (“The judgment of the district court is affirmed based on the district court’s well-reasoned opinion.”). The numerical signature requirement here, in combination with the signature collection window and filing deadline, is a severe burden on independent candidates and those who wish to vote for them.

That would be good news for supporters of easier ballot access laws. (Via BAN.)


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