State plans appeal of minor party ruling, seeks stay

UPDATE: The stay is denied. (Original post follows)

The federal ruling that lowered certification barriers and automatically placed the Constitution Party of Tennessee and the Green Party of Tennessee on the ballot will be appealed, according to a report in the Johnson City Press (behind paywall). An AP story on says that attorneys for the state have asked for a stay on the ruling while they prepare an appeal.

If I may step across the thin grey line from straight reporting/linking into opinion: I do not understand what danger the state has to so vigorously protect against. After all, even with the most recent victory, it is not like there is a rash of Constitution and Green candidates filing to run for election under their parties’ banners.

Yes, the Democratic and Republican parties themselves have something to gain by keeping rival institutions from forming; but does the State of Tennessee answer to and get its marching orders from those political parties, or from the people? Right. And if the people see fit to form additional political parties and field candidates to seek office, the state should not place burdensome hurdles in the way that deny citizens equal protection under the Constitution.

I welcome illustrative comments that would attempt to persuade me to see the state’s point of view. Given the absence of threat by these minor parties to the status quo, I am just not seeing it. Furthermore, even if the rise of powerful alternatives were imminent, state officials should have no interest other than ensuring the consistent application of election laws.

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