American voters may find themselves in a dilemma this election season. In fact, a recent poll by Rasmussen found that 46% of Americans will be voting between “the lesser of two evils.” While nearly two thirds of Americans would consider voting for a third-party candidate, these candidates will amass only 6% of the vote.
Many of us may like idea of a third party candidate, however, we’re hardly ever exposed to them; they’re given little attention in the news media, and they don’t show up during the televised debates. These candidates, like Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin, have fought tooth and nail for the opportunity to appear on the main stage alongside Republicans and Democrats – but with no success.
This past September, Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and James Grey sought to gain entry into the televised Presidential debates by way of the law. Johnson and his campaign contend that the Republican and Democratic National Committees have violated unfair competition and anti-trust laws while allegedly “conspiring” to exclude third party candidates during the debates. This October, Johnson’s team filed a Federal lawsuit against the Republican and Democratic controlled Committee of Presidential Debates (CPD), for excluding Johnson in the televised debates.
While the exclusion of third-party candidates may seem unfair in concept, legal scholars maintain that unfair competition and Sherman Anti-trust laws will provide little remedy in this scenario. Legal precedent seems clearly settled, as the Supreme Court has distinctly excluded politics from anti-trust laws in a long history of cases. Nevertheless, James Grey, a retired trial Judge from Orange County CA, will personally argue for an injunction in the United States District Court later this fall.
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