On August 12, U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, an Obama appointee, refused injunctive relief to Rocky De La Fuente, who had sued California over the requirement that he submit 178,039 signatures by August 12 to be on the ballot. De La Fuente v Padilla, 2:16cv-3242. The requirement equals 1% of the number of registered voters.
The order says the Ninth Circuit already upheld Hawaii’s independent presidential petition in Nader v Cronin, 620 F 3d 1214. Hawaii required an independent presidential candidate to submit the signatures of 1% of the last presidential vote, due 60 days before the general election. The Hawaii requirement at the time was 3,711 signatures, due September 3. The order says, “The Court discerns no meaningful difference between the 1% requirement in Nader as compared to the 1% requirement in this case.”
An assertion that obtaining 3,711 signatures in Hawaii is no different than obtaining 178,039 signatures in California seems obviously untrue.
The judge ignored the evidence that no one has completed the California independent petition since 1992. The U.S. Supreme Court has said several times that one way to evaluate a petition requirement is to see how often it has been used.
The lawsuit is not over, and a decision on declaratory relief will be obtained in the future.