Federal Judge Strikes Down Illinois Law on Third Parties

CHICAGO — A federal judge on Monday struck down as unconstitutional an 84-year-old Illinois law requiring that any small political party must field a full slate of candidates in a district before any one of its candidates can be on the ballot.

U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood’s order permanently bars Illinois from enforcing the law, which she described as the only one of its kind in the nation. Her ruling in Chicago stems from a civil lawsuit brought in 2012 by the Libertarian Party in Illinois.

County election districts typically have the most seats up for election, from clerks to coroners and recorders to school superintendents. Finding a candidate for each race has been especially challengingly for small parties, resulting in them often not having any presence on the county ballot.

With the law now struck down, more names and parties should appear on county ballots in the upcoming general election in November, said plaintiffs’ attorney David Schoen. He added that Judge Wood appeared to be taking

Read the full story from The State Journal-Register here.