(The author is a Latino consultant for American Values 2024)
New York: Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has initiated a federal lawsuit against Utah state officials, claiming they impose restrictions on his candidacy. The lawsuit was filed this Monday in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah.
Bobby Kennedy is supported by the American Values 2024 Super Pac, a group committed to restoring democracy in the United States and seeking to create a movement of supporters pursuing truth, separating the state from corporate interests, and supporting candidates who, like Kennedy, present proposals for a better future. Mark Gorton, CEO of Tower Research Capital, and Tony Lyons, president of Skyhorse Publishing, contribute to our Super Pac.
According to the complaint, Kennedy Jr. points to Vice Governor Deidre Henderson and Utah State Director of Elections Ryan Cowley for enforcing an “unconstitutional early deadline imposed only on unaffiliated independent candidates for the Office of the President of the United States.”
Before filing their “Nomination Certificate for 2024,” independent/unaffiliated candidates for the Office of the President of the United States must collect and verify 1,000 petition signatures. The complaint states that an “Unaffiliated candidate shall file between January 2 and January 8, 2024.”
According to the complaint, Kennedy Jr.’s campaign must gather and submit 1,000 valid petition signatures, which must be approved by election secretaries and sent to the state of Utah before the deadline.
The complaint asserts, “No state in the history of the United States has attempted to impose such an early date to collect, validate, and submit petitions to secure ballot access for the general elections to be held on the distant date of November 5, 2024.”
However, the complaint, copies of which this writer has, claims that the early deadline for the 2024 Utah elections is “a serious violation of rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, compliance with which the State of Utah has no legitimate or compelling interest to fulfill.”
Four more plaintiffs joined the lawsuit.
The document mentions four other plaintiffs: Steven Maxfield, a Utah resident, the non-profit organization Liberty Initiative Fund; Trenton Down Pool, a petition circulator based in Texas; and his petition circulation firm, Accekeveate 2020 LLC.
According to the lawsuit, the four plaintiffs intended to file a statewide petition to impose term limits on Utah state legislators in 2025 for the 2026 general elections. The plaintiffs argue that state law states that “only residents of Utah can circulate initiative and referendum petitions.”
According to the complaint, an additional law in Utah requires “compensating initiative and petition circulators based on the number of valid signatures collected and requiring any compensation to be paid based on the number of hours worked.” Additionally, the law mandates distributors to “wear a badge identifying and advertising their status as paid petition distributors.”
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs requested the federal court to order a preliminary deadline for independent presidential candidates to validate and submit their nomination applications by August 1, 2024. The plaintiffs also ask the court to permanently halt the ban on circulating petitions outside the state, compensation, and the state badge ban.
“Well, it looks like we’re going to straighten out this bad boy,” wrote Republican Vice Governor of Utah, Deidre Marie Henderson, on her Twitter account about the legal actions of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supported by American Values 2024.