RFK Jr. Sues Nevada’s Top Election Official Over Ballot Access As He Scrambles to Join Debate Stage

AP reports:  

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign filed a lawsuit Friday against Nevada’s top election official, alleging a requirement that independent candidates must name their running mate by the time they start gathering signatures for ballot access is unconstitutional.

The filing in the U.S. District Court of Nevada comes just over two months after Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar’s office clarified guidance that would likely nullify signatures that Kennedy Jr’s campaign collected for November’s ballot due to the petition not listing a running mate. Kennedy Jr’s campaign said in the lawsuit that they received approval in January from Aguilar’s office allowing them to collect the required 10,095 signatures for a petition that did not list his vice presidential selection.

The requirement to name a running mate on the petition, the campaign alleges, violates the 1st Amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

“The court must prohibit what was either rank incompetence or partisan political gamesmanship by the Secretary from invalidating petition signatures afforded the highest First Amendment protection by the United States Supreme Court,” said Paul Rossi, the campaign’s senior counsel, in a Monday statement.

Kennedy Jr. picked California lawyer and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan as his running mate in late March, a few weeks after he submitted the petition.

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