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Libertarians Lose Case to Block Presidential Debate 153

Posted by michael
from the frivolosity dept.
PMoonlite writes "As a followup to the previous Slashdot story, the judge ruled in favor of the Commission on Presidential Debates, refusing a restraining order on the basis of the doctrine of laches (unfairness due to delay of suit) and public interest, but allowing the Libertarians the possibility of seeking damages. So the debate will go forth at Arizona State University with only two of the three candidates on the state ballot."
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Libertarians Lose Case to Block Presidential Debate

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  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:07PM (#10507473) Journal

    While many here will debate the fairness of the 15% clause does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled? And make no mistake that's exactly what would have happened. There's no way Bush or Kerry's people would let them debate w/Badnarik.

    Of course it probably would have been worse off for Bush then Kerry. I doubt that the LP gains many converts from the Democrats. I can see them stealing away Republicans who aren't happy with Bush (deficits, big government, erosion of civil liberties). A three person debate also seems to focus all of the attacks on the incumbent -- look at poor H.W. Bush being attacked from both sides by Perot.

    In any case even the court agreed that it was in the public interest to allow the debate to proceed: "No restraining order, because of the doctrine of latches, and that there appears to be sufficient public purpose for this debate".

    As far as damages go -- what damages? Can the LP put a dollar figure on the damage? Can they show that if allowed into the debates they would have won (or even gotten 5% for Federal funding)? I doubt it -- then again IANAL.

    • by not_a_witch (813149) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:11PM (#10507508)
      No, I am not shocked; however, I do believe that a disservice has been done to the American people by NOT blocking the debate. The judge provided flimsy rationale for overlooking the unconstitutional use of taxpayer money to support two of the three candidates on the Arizona balance. (That is against the Arizona constitution.) The debate never would have been cancelled. It might have been postponed and moved to a private place, but a precident has been set. It is now ok to use taxpayer dollasr to get the current politicians reelected.
      • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:19PM (#10507597) Journal

        The debate never would have been cancelled. It might have been postponed and moved to a private place, but a precident has been set. It is now ok to use taxpayer dollasr to get the current politicians reelected.

        Do you really think so? I'm not so sure. Why wouldn't Bush Co. take the chance to get out of the last debate that focuses on his weak suit (Domestic Policy) where Kerry will probably clean his clock (again)?

        And I refuse to buy the argument that the debates are just Bush and Kerry spewing the stump speeches, party lines and canned answers. While many of the answers were like that (on both sides) there were many unscripted moments and the debates still give us a chance to see the different personalities in action.

        Whether you or right-wing, left-wing, centrist, committed voter or not the debates are useful and they are apparently making an impact. If Bush loses this election I would expect history to look at the first debate as the reason why.

        • Yeah, it's about like listening to a debate about the differences between Windows XP home and Windows XP pro. Sure they're different, but wouldn't you like to hear about Linux as well?
        • And I refuse to buy the argument that the debates are just Bush and Kerry spewing the stump speeches, party lines and canned answers. While many of the answers were like that (on both sides) there were many unscripted moments and the debates still give us a chance to see the different personalities in action.

          Reminds of the old line:

          If you want get ahead in politics, you've got to have sincerity. Once you can fake that, you can do anything.
        • oh please, these debates are meaningless politic-babble. Bush and Kerry are essentially the same: lots and lots and lots of government telling people how to run their lives. The difference between Bush and Kerry is that Bush think's Bush should run everyone elses' lives, while Kerry thinks Kerry should run everyone elses' lives. Let's look at some of Kerry's idiocies: he's said that Bush was mistaken on the war in Iraq, but that he's going to continue the very same mistaken policy. He's also wrongly support
          • Let's look at some of Kerry's idiocies: he's said that Bush was mistaken on the war in Iraq, but that he's going to continue the very same mistaken policy. He's also wrongly supported the war on Afghanistan. What a pathetic cop-out.

            "Wrongly supported the war on Afghanistan"? They were giving refuge to the man who murdered 3,000 civilians. What more cause did we need? Even I supported Bush on this one -- if not the half-assed way he went about it.

            But as far as Iraq goes what the heck else can we do no

            • Your post illustrates the problems of aggregation. "They" were mostly not the people we killed. We murdered far more civilians than terrorists and terrorist-collaborators in the war on Afghanistan. As for Iraq, you should read up on what's going on over there. We've been ruining that nation. We've socialized oil, resulting in enormous waiting lines; one ignorant military commander ordered his soldiers just to fill up everyone who came, so as to "quickly reduce the line"; the result, as anyone with even one
        • While many of the answers were like that (on both sides) there were many unscripted moments and the debates still give us a chance to see the different personalities in action.

          I got a good laugh (as did several friends on both sides of the aisle) at Bush's response to the timber ownership point Kerry brought up. "I own a timber company? That's news to me. ... Need some wood?"

          A nice, light-hearted moment in the midst of some otherwise strained (in several ways) responses. (Yes, I know the facts about t

        • If Bush loses this election I would expect history to look at the first debate as the reason why.

          If Bush loses this election, it's because of his debate performance and not all the past four years of his administration's BS?
        • If Bush loses this election I would expect history to look at the first debate as the reason why.

          I would tend to look at the fact that I live in a red state and, as of the Democratic primaries, I couldn't find a single person other than myself that wanted to vote for Bush. I know he's an incumbent and that it's difficult to unseat an incumbent, but a lot of people really, really despised him this election year. I seriously don't know how Kerry has managed to screw the race this badly, he should be far a
      • by stinerman (812158) <nathan@stine.gmail@com> on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:27PM (#10507663) Homepage
        This rationale has been used in the SCOTUS decision Bush v. Gore.

        7 out of 9 justices believed there was a violation of the equal protection clause in that ballots were counted differently in different counties. 4 out of 9 believed it was aggregious enough to extend the deadline past the mandated day for election results.

        In short, there should have been a full recount, but there simply wasn't enough time to get it done.
    • It wouldn't necessarily have been worse for bush. IF Badnarik had been successful in the debate, AND in the general election, it is possible he would have gained enough votes to take electors, and putting the election before the House where the Republicans are likely to be in control again this year... Win-win IMO.
      • It wouldn't necessarily have been worse for bush. IF Badnarik had been successful in the debate, AND in the general election, it is possible he would have gained enough votes to take electors, and putting the election before the House where the Republicans are likely to be in control again this year... Win-win IMO.

        And in what state do you think he could have captured a plurality of the vote? I'm not bashing your point -- I'm just wondering. Even if he absolutely crushed Bush or Kerry -- what state coul

        • I believe that within both parties is at least a plurality and possibly a majority that wants to select other than the evil of two lessers. Given that Most of Badnariks votes will come from undecideds, burnouts and others not interested in kerry and only slightly less disinterested in bush, personally I like bush, but as a small l libertarian, I would like to see MUCH smaller government and IMO we(the US) are due for one of the two parties to die. which dies depends on whether the green, libertarian or re
          • believe that within both parties is at least a plurality and possibly a majority that wants to select other than the evil of two lessers.

            I can't help but disagree with this statement. Perhaps as somebody with libertarian views you are dissatisfied with Bush. I know lots of republicans that are. Especially in the Northeast (we don't have too many religious-right types around here -- Republicans up here usually stand for small-government and fiscal responsibility).

            But I can't buy that a majority of De

            • by mec (14700)
              But I can't buy that a majority of Democrats aren't happy with Kerry

              Here is a New York Times / CBS poll with some interesting data for you.

              NYT Article [nytimes.com]

              Click on the "Multimedia: Interactive Feature -- Complete Results" for a nice PDF of all the questions and answers. Scroll down to page 5 of the PDF, and look at questions 8 and 9.

              (IF ANSWERED "GEORGE W. BUSH" to Q.5, ASK:)
              8. Would you describe your support of George W. Bush as strongly favoring him, or do you like him but with reservations, or do you
            • Electable.
          • Further for many, it is only the fear of the opposition party (dem/rep) that prevents them from voting with their consience as it stands. If I thought a Bull moose reunion tour likely, I would be even more likely to vote libertarian. As it stands, I tend to vote for integrity vs voting for positions although where someone stands does have influence with me. I would vote dean or lieberman or mcain or bradley over bush or gore or kerry.

            although certain stands(Constitution party belief that we ought to be
            • by Dr. Smeegee (41653) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @07:22PM (#10508770) Homepage Journal
              stanman: Your post shows maturity, common sense and an aquaintance with and adherence to Civic Virtues... and as such, does not belong here. Perhaps appending "FP!" to your subject line would help.

              Thanks.
            • [...]a civil union code allowing any combination or number of adults as defined by state law to enter into inheritance and child raising covenants [...] I would back that 100%.

              I'd not be quite that supportive. Speaking from my own observations, stability of a such relationships tends to diminish as the number of adults in the relationship increased. (Theory suggests a time correlation between order n^-2 and 2^-n.) Several of my freinds in earlier years were involved in common-law troikas and higher polys.

        • And in what state do you think he could have captured a plurality of the vote? I'm not bashing your point -- I'm just wondering. Even if he absolutely crushed Bush or Kerry -- what state could he get a plurality in?

          It's extremely unlikely that he could get over 50% of the vote in any state. His exposure has been below most people's radar.

          Had he been allowed in the debates, his chances would have been much better.

          At least that 15% mark might have been possible.

          • IIRC, Nebraska and Maine do their Electoral votes proportionately, and Colorado is having that issue on their November ballot. This makes it possible for Badnarik to get a few votes without getting a plurality in any state.
    • You're absolutely right. Neither Bush nor Kerry's people would allow them to debate Badnarik. Hell, Bush can barely debate one opponent anyway. But shouldn't this fact bother us a little bit?
    • I doubt that the LP gains many converts from the Democrats.

      I've never voted for a Republican for President. I have voted for a Democrat. I'm about to vote for a Democrat for US Senate (Feingold). In fact, I've rarely voted for any Republican. I will most likely be voting for Badnarik for President.

      A friend at work just took the SelectSmart test [selectsmart.com] -- Badnarik was the first candidate on his list, the rest were Democrats until Bush showed up in position 17.

      The only polling data [edthompson.com] I've seen on the subj
      • I've never voted for a Republican for President. I have voted for a Democrat. I'm about to vote for a Democrat for US Senate (Feingold). In fact, I've rarely voted for any Republican. I will most likely be voting for Badnarik for President.

        Your voting for a Democrat for the Senate yet you are going to vote for Badnarik? Do you hate Kerry or do you have a really unique set of political views?

        Has anybody around here really looked at what the Libertarian party stands for? Some of the more extreme (or co

        • I'm voting for Feingold because of his opposition to the Patriot Act. The Republican (Michels) keeps bashing Feingold for voting against the Patriot Act and promises that he (Michels) will vote to renew it. Feingold has also been in the front lines of legalizing importation of Canadian drugs while Michels keeps claiming that Feingold is against importation. Frankly, Michels scares the cr*p out of me.

          When it comes to the Presidential race, I don't like Bush's policies (he doesn't deserve re-election)
        • LP advocate getting rid of all Government institutions and replacing them with private companies or contractors.

          well, getting rid of the non-constitutional institutions. The fed, to me, _is_ a company. One that has a monopoly over what it does and can force it's customers to do whatever it wants. I trust private companies which can't force me to do something.

          you have no control over the federal government.
          slight control over your state government.
          a bit more control over your local government.

          regu
          • And you have less control over private corporations than you do over the federal government. Sounds like a good reason for regulation.

            Besides, if non-regumental companies were actually effective, they'd already exist and be used because there's a significant percentage of the population that wants more accountability. The fact that they don't now makes it laughable to think they'd pop into existance if we got rid of existing regulation.
            • And you have less control over private corporations than you do over the federal government. Sounds like a good reason for regulation.

              Huh? I have complete control over private corporations. I can choose to not interact with them. I don't have to use Windows, I don't have to eat at McDonald's, I don't have to drink Coke, I don't have to wear Nikes, I don't have to buy clothes from The Gap.

              On the other hand, I do have to pay taxes, wear a seatbelt, fill out an application to improve my home, and a millio
              • I'm not a fan of private corporations (which would be largely eliminated under a Libertarian administration)

                I think you have Libertarianism and Anarcho-Communism confused. Hope this helps.

              • No, you can't choose not to interact with them. Even if you don't buy from them, you don't live in a magic world where MS isn't killing competition, where corporations aren't polluting the airs and waters, where Nike doesn't use child labor. These things happen wether you buy their product personally or not, and you have no control over them. If these decisions were being made by a government, you could at least vote out the leaders. So yes, you have less control over corporations.
          • well, getting rid of the non-constitutional institutions. The fed, to me, _is_ a company. One that has a monopoly over what it does and can force it's customers to do whatever it wants. I trust private companies which can't force me to do something.

            You're confusing the concepts of what the government should be versus what the government to some extent is.

            The government should protect its citizens, whether against threats from foreign nations or domestic companies.
        • by isotope23 (210590) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @06:26PM (#10508286) Homepage Journal
          IMO this is something that Libertarians do not communicate well. While many Libs may disagree with me on this, I would like to point it out.
          There is nothing in most STATE constitutions which say you cannot make a state social security system, state owned roads, state taxes etc.

          If the Libs were ever elected on a federal level, I forsee each state and/or local communities making their own laws reagarding those local issues which the local populace is more concerned and informed about. Thus, you would have some "Green" cities and states, some "Libertarian" cities and states, etc. Big government for the sake of Homogeniety is not IMO a good thing.

          • I don't see this as a major flaw (for any of the third parties, many of which could be subject to similar critcism), for the simple reason that no third party is going to get a President elected before it manages to grab a few statehouses and seats on Congress (not to mention tons of local offices).

            Running candidates for President is a good way to bring more attention to the party, but if any of these guys think they're going to win, they're seriously deluded (and anyone who votes for them as anything ot

        • While getting rid of most federal programs they also want to put responsibility on corporations. It should be easy to put someone or a group of someones in charge of a horribly negligent product/process/manufacturing etc... One thing is investors, making investors responsible for what they invest in. I think it would help many many things.
      • I just took the selectsmart test. I guess I will be voting for Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /usr/www/users/ssmart/PRESIDENT/president.php on line 33
    • no one really wanted the debates cancelled. badnarik would much rather have joined the debate, i'm sure, but failing that, shutting the debate down would have broken the media blackout he's thus far been subjected to.

      do you really think bush and kerry would be so petty as to refuse to debate when a third party is introduced? i think that would be a powerfully negative statement on their character.

      also, it's funny, but i was just reading a comment in the previous story that claimed that allowing badnarik
    • does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled?

      From the libertarian point of view, these debates don't matter in the slightest.
      The public will get screwed either way.

      At least the lp.org would get some attention from the corporate media for a change... would they?

      -metric
    • by Anil (7001) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:49PM (#10507904)
      While many here will debate the fairness of the 15% clause does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled?

      The issue here wasn't the 15% clause. The injunction was based upon the Arizona State Constitution. The argument centered on the fact that the LP is on the ballot and an officially recognized political entity in Arizona. Therefor, the state was unlawfully providing contributions to only the Democratic and Repulican parties. From the summary on the blog:

      ... argued the case based on the violation of Arizonas Constitution, Art. 9, Sec. 7, which prohibit gifts to private entities. He presented additional arguments based on the 1st Amendment, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and case law which was on point.
    • by worldtechguy (656198) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @06:58PM (#10508595)
      Yes, I believe that the public WOULD be served by having Bushie and Kerrie back out. It would show, in no uncertain terms, that these are not really debates, but publicly funded infomercials for the Ds and the Rs. Picture the CNN/Fox/PMSNBC news stories if B and K dropped out in protest over Badnarik showing up. They would have an impossible time keeping the Libertarian party secret anymore.
    • While many here will debate the fairness of the 15% clause does anybody seriously think that the American public would have been served by having the debate canceled? And make no mistake that's exactly what would have happened. There's no way Bush or Kerry's people would let them debate w/Badnarik.

      Let's see what the choices are:
      1. No Debate
      2. Fake Debate


      I'll take #1, Alex.
    • debate 15%? (Score:3, Informative)

      by JavaLord (680960)
      While many here will debate the fairness of the 15% clause

      There is no debating the 15% clause, it's unfair to third parties. Such a threshold would have barred Perot from the 1992 debates (he finished with 19 percent of the vote), and would have excluded Reform candidate Jesse Ventura from the 1998 gubernatorial debates in Minnesota (at 10 percent in polls before the debates, he won the election with 37 percent).
  • Wow. That took a long time. I'm shocked at the result.
    • Shocking is right! It's too bad that our judicial branch is not as suited to puting our executive branch in check as they should be. Equally disconcerting is the fact that our legislative branch willingly handed over the military to our sabre rattling "commander in chief".

      Found recently was a site dedicated to debunking the MYTH [commission...debates.us] that the CPD is a non-partisan service for the people.
  • Sucky (Score:2, Interesting)

    This is sucky. There's really very little else to say about this subject. Some will try, writing a lot of words about the topic, explaining the reasoning, balancing the opinions. But, it all boils down to one point. "This is sucky."
  • Still a recourse (Score:2, Informative)

    by not_a_witch (813149)
    I just thought I would add that while the judge in this case did rule that the debate could go on, they did leave room for the libertarian party to seek punitive damages in the future.
    • Which "only?" means more money in 08 and possibly a seat at the 08 debates... something perot would have earned 12 years ago if he hadn't taken a 3 month vacation from the race.
    • by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @11:13PM (#10510458)
      I just thought I would add that while the judge in this case did rule that the debate could go on, they did leave room for the libertarian party to seek punitive damages in the future.

      That's the part that chills me the most. The judge has basically said that the activity he's allowing might just be illegal. But instead of evaluating the plans before they become history, he's putting the question off until later (and given the effort pursuing such a suit requires, it's possible the suit will die here and now).

      As a general case, such a deferment of justice is bad enough, but in this specific case, the effects are chilling to the core. I personally think the LP would be far worse for America than "four more years" (and *that's* saying a lot). Even so, we need fresh views and true "spoilers" in the debates. What the judge has, essentially, done is sold-out our democratic process.

      He's taken away our responsibility to provide, and right to demand, that our democratic process serve to inform and mobilize our electorate. In exchange, we get "the possibility" of a few bucks down the road.

      Even if the LP were to win $10million in damages, we'll have all gotten the shaft. Doesn't the judge realize that if both parties had to fork over $50million each to keep the debates closed, they would? Isn't it abundantly clear that even if there were no other reason submitted before him, that *that's* reason enough to force reform in the debate system?

      Like the sign said, "Now, we're all wearing the blue dress."
  • shocked (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm just shocked. I really thought there was going to be a 3-party debate. Wow.

  • by isotope23 (210590) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:26PM (#10507656) Homepage Journal
    "Al animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

    George Orwell - Animal Farm

    • by isotope23 (210590) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @06:01PM (#10508034) Homepage Journal
      DOH missed an L there :

      "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

      George Orwell - Animal Farm

      BTW look at the media blackout,

      cnn1 [cnn.com] cnn2 [cnn.com]

      nader [cnn.com]

      alexabadnarik [alexa.com] alexanader [alexa.com]

      I could see maybe 5 or 10 mentions on CNN but ZERO? zilch, nada. Yet 523 seperate items on nader. Then compare the alexa links, put in votenader.org on the compare sites.(Wouldn't let me do it via a link)

      • by Selecter (677480) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @06:27PM (#10508305)
        Considering Badnarik is polling *higher* in some states than Nader and is one the ballot in MANY more states than Nader, I think Isotope's example is a STERLING example of total media bias in action. My mad props to you.

        Notice also a search on BADNARIK also returns zero hits on CNN.

        How come /. is full of R's and D's who are always complaining of media bias against each other. How come they cant see it here?

      • Because Cobb was involved in the previous protest I tried searching for him on CNN after seeing these claims for Badnarik. Cobb is a common word so I got some agricultural stuff and movie reviews, but the actual political articles were 2 about Nader and 1 that did not actually seem to mention Cobb.
      • Also see how often Michael Moore's site mentions each of them:

        nader 106 hits [google.com]

        badnarik 0 hits [google.com]

        Maybe Moore is afraid of mentioning anyone other than Kerry and Bush at this point, but I would have expected something about the free speech zone quote, being blocked from FOX news, his arrest, or this Arizona debates to have made his site somewhere.

  • This is really terrible for democracy as a whole. Once a real third party got that much media attention, it would be the beginning of the end for the big 2 (Atleast on a local level). I was hoping this was going to be the day that decided the future of america in a positive way, but I fear that the battle for that will come another day.
    • by Jerf (17166)
      Once a real third party got that much media attention, it would be the beginning of the end for the big 2 (Atleast on a local level).

      Two words: "Reform Party."
      • Two words: "Reform Party."

        Yeah, it's funny how all this "debate reform" came shortly after (in political terms) perot managed 19% of the popular vote in 1992. I also find it amusing that lifelong Republican Pat Buchanan who was a candidate for being Deep Throat in the Nixon administration, and is considered a racist/anti-semite by some decided to ditch the Republican party and head to the Reform party in 2000 thus tanking it to the point where it would not get federal election funds anymore.
  • Doctrine of Laches (Score:5, Informative)

    by slithytove (73811) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:31PM (#10507718) Homepage
    Stephen Gordon had this to say:

    I clearly disagree with the ruling with respect to the doctrine of latches is incorrect for several reasons. To begin, we filed initially on October 1, and not the October 7 date the judge mentioned. The Washington Post reported that Bush did not even agree to debate until September 20. The CPD did not announce who would be excluded until October 6. It takes time for a pattern of illegal spending to occur, and for Libertarians to be able to document the pattern and respond. We did this in the most timely manner possible. Additionally, we filed in enough time that the hearing could have occurred earlier than the day before the debate.

    Apparently the American public disagrees with the judge in regard to sufficient public purpose. Depending upon the poll cited, between 57% and 68% believe that the debates should be open, at least to those having a mathematical possibility of obtaining enough electoral votes to win an election.

  • by Inebrius (715009) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:33PM (#10507737)
    http://badnarik.org

    2:54PM
    Michael Kielsky of the Arizona LP explains in detail:

    The Arizona Libertarian Party and co-plaintiff Warren Severin were represented by attorney David Euchner.

    Arizona State University was represented by Carrie Brennan of the Attorney General's office.

    Commission on Presidential Debates was represented by Glen Hallman of the firm of Gallagher & Kennedy, physically in court, as well as Lewis Loss, General Counsel for the CPD by phone.

    The judge started by ruling that the service was sufficient for purpose of notice of this hearing. Then, each side was given 30 minutes to argue the issue.

    Euchner reserved 15 minutes of his argument for rebuttal, and argued the case based on the violation of Arizona's Constitution, Art. 9, Sec. 7, which prohibit gifts to private entities. He presented additional arguments based on the 1st Amendment, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause, and case law which was on point.

    Carrie Brennan argued the doctrine of latches (that the delay in bringing this suit worked an unfairness against the defendants). She further argued that the funding was provided by private parties, that there is great value to the University in hosting this, and that case law provides that such expenditures are allowed as long as they are not excessive or unreasonable.

    Finally, she stated that there is an adequate remedy for any violations of the constitutional gift clause, therefore injunction is not appropriate.

    Glen Hallman argued that Libertarians are not a special protected class, thus only a rational basis test applies to the equal protection argument, and using that test, the Libertarians were not discriminated against.

    Lewis Loss argued that the CPD is non-partisan, and that Bush & Kerry would not proceed if Badnarik were admitted to the debate.

    Euchner then rebutted, arguing that nobody remembers the location of the debates, and thus there is no value to the University in this expenditure, in other words, it is a gift to these two parties. As an example, Euchner argued that the only way debates are even remembered for any time is if they are parodied, such as on Saturday Night Live, and the rerun repeatedly. Further, even with a rational basis test on the equal protection clause, the judge should find for the Libertarians, because the discrimination is so blatant.

    At the conclusion of the arguement, the judge issued his ruling from the bench:

    1. No restraining order, because of the doctrine of latches, and that there appears to be sufficient public purpose for this debate.

    2. The Plaintiffs may continue to pursue damages for any violations of the constitutional provisions.

    In summary, we couldn't stop the debates or get Badnarik in, but we may still be able to hold them accountable through damages.

    Post this far and wide.
  • I'm reminded of the time Ralph Nader was kept from watching one of the 2000 presidental debates even though he had a valid ticket to watch it.

    He left and then later sued the pants off of the CPD for violating his civil rights and won easily.

    Since the judge basically said there wasn't enough time to resolve the case, and the damage to the public interest is irrevocable if they were to go ahead with an injunction, Badnarik still may have a case after the fact. I'd be willing he could get a pretty penny for
  • I hope AZLP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:35PM (#10507757) Homepage Journal
    continues on to destroy the damned CPD by asking for the equivalent of their 2008 budget for damages.
    • "continues on to destroy the damned CPD by asking for the equivalent of their 2008 budget for damages."

      There isn't the vaguest plausible legal theory to support such a damage award, and a lawyer would probably be admonished by a court for asking for such a specious damage award.
      • True enough- but there's a good social reason to ask for such an award. The CPD represents an anti-democratic oligarchial alliance between the major parties that effectively ends US democracy by turning the whole thing into a one party system.
    • More realistically, they should ask for the budget of the debate. With this they can simply run their own debate (possibly through paying off media for airtime).

  • The Results (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thunderstruck (210399) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:44PM (#10507849)
    Three points to consider:

    1. While cancelling the debate would not serve the "American" public, the court issuing the decision does not serve the "American" Public either. What counts is the rights and interests of the citizens of Arizona.

    2. The debate will go on, and one candidate will win by a narrow margin. This is probably what would have happened if Bandarik had been admitted.

    3. The Arizona LP can argue some incredible damages for the loss of the presidency. This may help them in 2008.

    • Yes, so in the long run it might be better for the party. Hope they don't change the law in Arizona though! slimy politicians!

      I wonder how many politicians participate in /. and how many are lurkers?

    • "1. While cancelling the debate would not serve the "American" public, the court issuing the decision does not serve the "American" Public either. What counts is the rights and interests of the citizens of Arizona."

      Extremely few Arizona citizens seemed compelled to protest to a court about this. It appears that partisans alone are motivated to.

      "2. The debate will go on, and one candidate will win by a narrow margin. This is probably what would have happened if Bandarik had been admitted."

      Well, yes, but
  • by sofakingon (610999) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:49PM (#10507905)
    CPD EXPOSED: Commission on [fake] Presidential Debates. [commission...debates.us]
  • by jangobongo (812593) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:52PM (#10507937)
    Note: I live in Arizona
    Well, Bush has arrived and Kerry will be here soon. The media circus is ramping up. [azcentral.com] No one seemed to doubt that "the show" would go on.

    I don't plan on watching the debate, though. If Badnarik had been able to participate, I probably would have, because a three-way debate might have offered me a lot more insights into the candidates views. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a libertarian, and most probably won't vote libertarian. But watching Bush and Kerry spout their canned and polished diatribes at each other won't enlighten me any.
  • Disappointing, but not surprising, considering who appoints judges.

    At least, the 3rd party candidates (except Nader) all were televised debating on C-span. The video (.rm format) is temporarily linked from the C-span home page [c-span.org], under "recent programs," and can also be found using a search for "third party" on c-span.org.

    Does anybody know how to save this video as a more storeable format (i.e., mpeg)?

  • by singularity (2031) * <nowalmart@gmPARISail.com minus city> on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @06:34PM (#10508388) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot had an article about the third-party debate at Cornell University. [slashdot.org] unfortunately, it was not broadcast.

    I am not a big fan of their platform, but the Constitution Party [constitutionparty.com] has posted a page with a link to a download of the debate. [peroutka2004.com] (warning: the movie is a 67.4MB download).

    I just got done watching it. It is a good debate, and a good chance to learn about some of the third-parties.
  • Mistakes? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by asciiwhite (679872) <{asciiwhite} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @08:38PM (#10509417)
    I've mad a few mistakes.... ---G .W Bush

    Yep, here's a 100 of those mistakes./p>

    Iraq

    1. Failing to build a real international coalition prior to the Iraq invasion, forcing the US to shoulder the full cost and consequences of the war.

    2. Approving the demobilization of the Iraqi Army in May, 2003 ? bypassing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and reversing an earlier position, the President left hundreds of thousands of armed Iraqis disgruntled and unemployed, contributing significantly to the massive security problems American troops have faced during occupation.

    3. Not equipping troops during the invasion of Iraq with adequate body armor or armored HUMVEES.

    4. Ignoring the advice Gen. Eric Shinseki regarding the need for more troops in Iraq ? now Bush is belatedly adding troops, having allowed the security situation to deteriorate in exactly the way Shinseki said it would if there were not enough troops.

    5. Ignoring plans drawn up by the Army War College and other war-planning agencies, which predicted most of the worst security and infrastructure problems America faced in the early days of the Iraq occupation.

    6. Making a case for war which ignored intelligence that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

    7. Deriding "nation-building" during the 2000 debates, then engaging American troops in one of the most explicit instances of nation building in American history.

    8. Predicting along with others in his administration that US troops would be greeted as liberators in Iraq.

    9. Predicting Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction.

    10. Wildly underestimating the cost of the war.

    11. Trusting Ahmed Chalabi, who has dismissed faulty intelligence he provided the President as necessary for getting the Americans to topple Saddam.

    12. Disbanding the Sunni Baathist managers responsible for Iraq's water, electricity, sewer system and all the other critical parts of that country's infrastructure.

    13. Failing to give UN weapons inspectors enough time to certify if weapons existed in Iraq.

    14. Including discredited intelligence concerning Nigerian Yellow Cake in his 2003 State of the Union.

    15. Announcing that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, below a "Mission Accomplished" banner ? many more U.S. soldiers have died in combat since Bush's announcement than before it.

    16. Awarding a multi-billion dollar contract to Halliburton in Iraq, which then repeatedly overcharged the government and served troops dirty food.

    17. Refusing to cede any control of Post-invasion Iraq to the international community, meaning reconstruction has received limited aid from European allies or the U.N.

    18. Failing to convince NATO allies why invading Iraq was important.

    19. Having no real plan for the occupation of Iraq and winning the peace while delaying planned military until after upcoming election.

    20. Limiting bidding on Iraq construction projects to "coalition partners," unnecessarily alienating important allies France, Germany and Russia.

    21. Diverting $700 million into Iraq invasion planning without informing Congress.

    22. Shutting down an Iraqi newspaper for "inciting violence" ? the move, which led in short order to street fighting in Fallujah, incited more violence than the newspaper ever had.

    23. Telling Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan about plans to go to war with Iraq before Secretary of State Colin Powell.

    Counterterrorism

    24. Allowing members of the Bin Laden family to leave the country just days after 9/11, most without being questioned by the FBI.

    25. Focusing on missile defense at the expense of counterterrorism prior to 9/11.

    26. Thinking al Qaeda could not attack without state sponsors, and ignoring evidence of a growing threat unassociated with "rogue states" like Iraq or North Korea.

    27. Threaten

    • What part of "-1 Offtopic" don't you moderators understand?

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @09:49PM (#10509872)
    In the UK we have a similar state of 2 party politics however, there is a 3rd party gaining ground at the expense of the main 2. The Liberal Democrats, a centrist party.

    They are starting to take serious chunks of support at a national level and they've done it by concentrating at a local level first. Get seats on local councils first, target resources at councils where you are most likely to gain seats or win. Leverage the councils and council seats to demonstrate competence.

    It's taken 20 years so far and realistically they're still well back in 3rd place but as their vote increases, the other parties are having to take account of and answer questions posed by the LibDems, in addition, there are now no majority parties at all, it's painfully obvious that the existing electoral system is not up to the task of representing the population.

    • You're mostly right, but I wouldn't call the LibDems centrist. I don't think they've been so for about the last ten years. In terms of tax, they propose a higher tax regime than either of the two main parties. In terms of Europe, they're strongly pro-European, as opposed to a mostly hostile Conservative Party, and a very mixed Labour Party.

      Another factor in their relative success is simple disillusionment with either of the two main parties, both of which have had a chance to spoil their reputations by bei
      • "You're mostly right, but I wouldn't call the LibDems centrist."

        To be honest I wouldn't either if we analyse things, it's a simplification. I really don't think the old left/right thing applies any more. They have policies which could be considered left wing, but also policies which could be considered right wing, so do Labour for that matter.

        Election debates? I'm yet not sure whether they are a gimmick or are really useful for enunciating policies and challenging politicians.

  • the same thing that the guy on the NetZero commercials does:

    "I'm not on the list? How about looking me up under the name 'Washington!'"

  • but allowing the Libertarians the possibility of seeking damages

    How do you fix that after that fact? About the only solution I can think of that even approaches being fair is that they have to buy Badnarik 30 minutes of prime-time 30-second spots.
  • Mainstream press (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JavaLord (680960) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @07:35AM (#10512169) Journal
    Notice how this lawsuit got little to no coverage in the mainstream press? On CNN these stories are under the "top stories" section

    Eminem video irks Michael Jackson

    Elvis 911 call ends in Blues Brother's arrest

    Office pool claims $214M Powerball pot

    Are these stories really more importnant than this one, even if Badnarik is a fringe candidate? Even if you click on CNN's "politics" section you won't see a story about this. I think the news outlets have become far too involved in politics and spinning politics rather (no pun intended) than just reporting them.

  • Could this be the argument libertarians are looking for? They'll never make the White House, but if they make 15% they'll get into the debates. This is commonly held to be a good thing, even by non-Libertarians, and the Libs could tap into a large pool of disillusioned voters who aren't going to vote anyhow, but who might like the idea of seeing the two main parties face down a third candidate.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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