A nonprofit group and the Green and Libertarian parties filed suit Monday seeking to force open the general election presidential debates to candidates from outside the two major political parties. The lawsuit filed against the Federal Election Commission seeks to force it to crack down on the Commission on Presidential Debates, which it argues is violating FEC rules that dictate that debates must be staged in a nonpartisan manner and candidates selected for participation based on objective criteria. Alternatively, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeks permission to sue the debate commission directly.
The plaintiffs, led by the advocacy group Level the Playing Field, also want to force the FEC to revise its current rules governing presidential debates.
“The objective of the lawsuit is to get a legal ruling that will force the CPD to change its rules of access, so a person who is neither a Democrat or a Republican has a realistic chance of participating in the fall general election debates,” said Alexandra Shapiro, the lead attorney in the case.