The Libertarian Party has filed a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut, challenging laws pertaining to gathering signatures on petitions to place candidates on election ballots. Specifically, the Libertarians object to a provision that requires Connecticut residents to gather the signatures. The lawsuit is part of a national effort by the Libertarians, the nation’s third largest political party, which has resulted in similar laws being overturned in 11 other states and the District of Columbia. The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut has joined Day Pitney in bringing the suit on behalf of the party. “For us, it’s a First Amendment issue,” said Dan Barrett, legal director for the ACLU of Connecticut. “Evert [federal appeals court] has concluded that restrictions like this are a major restriction to reach voters. This is democracy, [the issue is] letting the party get its message to the people and to get on the ballot.”
The Libertarian party is being represented by Day Pitney managing partner Stanley Twardy, who noted that the Libertarian Party would not be the only party benefiting from a change in state law. He said other minor party candidates and petitioning candidates — and the voters who supported them — would be helped if restrictions were lifted on who can gather signatures.
Twardy noted that former Connecticut U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman had to petition for a place on the 2006 ballot when he did not receive the Democratic Senate nomination. He ultimately ran under the Connecticut for Lieberman party and won against Democratic nominee Ned Lamont.