On late Friday, September 30, U.S. District Court Judge William Watkins refused to order the Alabama Secretary of State to put Rocky De La Fuente on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate. The state had earlier checked his petition and found it valid, and had told him he was on the ballot. But then in late August, the state told him he was being removed, because the state had just noticed that he had run in Alabama’s Democratic presidential primary earlier that year.
Alabama had let Lyndon LaRouche on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate in 1992, even though LaRouche had also run in that year’s Democratic presidential primary. De La Fuente argued that (1) it violates due process to remove him after he had already been certified; (2) Alabama had already established a precedent that its sore loser law (which had been passed before Alabama ever had presidential primaries) doesn’t pertain to presidential primaies; (3) sore loser laws can’t be applied to presidential primaries because the true candidates in November are the presidential elector candidates; (4) sore loser laws can’t be applied to presidential candidates because states cannot add to the qualifications for running for federal office.
Judge Watkins did not explain why he denied injunctive relief, but said he would explain in the next two weeks. As a result of the decision, the only presidential candidates who are on the Alabama are Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Donald Trump. Johnson and Stein have the ballot label “independent”. Alabama and Tennessee are the only states in which no parties (with the party label) are on the ballot, except for the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Author: Richard Winger