Alas, we won’t get a straight answer on the constitutionality of South Dakota’s differing standards for candidate ballot access. Yesterday, federal Judge Karen Schreier threw out on a technicality a motion from the Constitution Party of South Dakota to place candidates on the U.S. Senate and District 23 House general election ballots. The Constitutionists tacked their appeal to nominate Kurt Evans for U.S. Senate and Wayne Schmidt onto a pending lawsuit in which South Dakota’s Constitutionists and Libertarians are challenging South Dakota’s ballot access rules for new parties.
In her ruling yesterday, Judge Schreier does not address the merits of the Constitutionists’ claims. The judge only notes that the plaintiffs failed to properly amend their complaint to address the Evans/Schmidt issue.
That ruling does not address the Constitutionist/Libertarian argument that South Dakota’s last-Tuesday-in-March deadline for party organization is unconstitutional. That main thrust of the lawsuit thus appears to remain in play. Judge Schreier said in June that the March deadline for party organization is a “severe burden” for new parties.