Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent presidential candidate, is suing Utah officials over an “unconstitutional early filing deadline” that hinders ballot access for independent candidates.
The lawsuit seeks an emergency temporary restraining order on the rule, claiming it impairs voters from casting meaningful votes.
Kennedy’s campaign cites a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling and argues that the state legislature has shown contempt for the constitution and voters. (Trending: Elon Musk Condemns Arrest Of Jan 6 Protester)
“The county clerk for Salt Lake County has advised that she will need two weeks to validate all signatures, such that petitioning must stop no later than December 14th,” documents read.
“Accordingly, in order to collect the 1,500 to 1,600 raw signatures – in the middle of December’s cold weather, sufficient to guarantee that at least 1,000 of the signatures will be validated in time to meet the January 8, 2023 deadline, Plaintiff RFK will be forced at the end of next week, at the latest, to make the decision to hire professional petition circulators at a cost of between $7 and $10 per valid signature by late next week.”
“It directly impairs voters from casting meaningful votes in the general election,” said legal counsel Paul Rossi.
“We’re challenging it so the voters of Utah, like every other state in the nation, they have a right to cast ballots for the candidate they might want to support.”
“John Anderson was an independent candidate against Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and he announced his candidacy after March that year,” Rossi said.
“And because Ohio’s March 15th deadline was so early, he was prevented to make the ballot.”
“Back in 1984, Utah had an April 15th deadline and the secretary, the lieutenant governor’s office at that time, recognized that that deadline was so early and unconstitutional that they told independent candidates: ‘don’t worry about it, we’re not enforcing it,'” Rossi added.
“The state legislature has shown absolute contempt for the constitution, absolute contempt for the voters of Utah to be able to cast a ballot for a candidate they’d like to support,” he said.
Utah officials are reviewing the suit and have no comment at this time.