Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ralph Nader vs. Democratic National Committee conspiracy lawsuit over ballot access litigation

Where is Ralph Nader these days? In court, taking his battle to reform ballot access laws in the United States to the judiciary. Nader is fighting an alleged conspiracy hatched against him in Boston at the time of the 2004 Democratic National Convention held in the city.

Ralph has successfully defended his federal appellate win in Arizona over the state's unconstitutional restrictions on petition circulators. Arizona banned out-of-state petitioners, a practice that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found to be unconstitutional. Not giving up easily on challenges to the 2-party system that dominates American politics, state officials had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the appellate decision striking down Arizona's restrictive ballot access law but the high court today decided to let the decision stand.

A leftover from Nader's 2008 presidential campaign? No, the case is a holdover from the 2004 electoral bid by America's most famous consumer protection advocate.

In 2004, Ralph Nader was the target of an unprecedented legal attack in almost two dozen states with 29 legal actions brought, financed or instigated by the Democratic Party. The lawsuits, many of them frivolous, were brought to keep Ralph in court and not on the campaign stump.

After the dust settled, it was clear to Nader that he had been the target of an abuse of the court system by a major political party to deprive him of ballot access. Ralph then filed suit against the Democratic National Committee for the legal conspiracy.

The lawsuit was dismissed at the District Court level of the federal court system and Nader appealed to the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals where oral argument is scheduled for later in the month.

Nader's brief to the appellate court addresses some of the pending issues. Nader charged the Democrats were guilty of "overtly corrupt and even unlawful conduct."

Nader argued the appeal should go forward because, "Defendants denied and fraudulently concealed their tortuous conduct, and because they remain engaged in ongoing acts in furtherance of their unlawful conspiracy."

"Defendants wrongfully invoked state statutes and federal campaign finance laws as a pretext to bankrupt their competitors by forcing them to incur litigation costs in the defense of a pattern of baseless and repetitive claims."

Nader alleges that in Pennsylvania the political conspirators "planted approximately 7,000 fake signatures" in his petitions so they could later claim the petitions were fraudulent. The Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has indicted a dozen Democrats for illegal work on petition challenges in 2004 in a scandal dubbed "Bonusgate" because the state legislative workers were paid a bonus for their dirty work.

Nader continued his assault on his Democrat opponents, "Conspirators engaged in sabotage and other unlawful acts intended to manufacture grounds for their otherwise baseless litigation."

Nader likened the Democratic lawsuits against him to "malicious prosecution" which were only filed to advance "baseless claims" designed to bankrupt his campaign. The lawsuits were "wrongful and abusive" of the judicial process.

Nader says the conspiracy against him came together in July 2004 in a meeting of thirty-six conspirators at the Four Seasons hotel in Boston. Oral argument is scheduled in the case for March 20th in Washington, D.C.

Thank you, Anonymous...

All Good Things,
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