Barr campaign sues to get Dems and GOP off Texas ballot

Cox News Service reports that “Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr’s campaign filed suit Tuesday seeking to remove Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama from the ballot in Texas, alleging that the two major candidates missed the deadline for officially filing to be on the ballot.”

The report continues:

Pat Dixon, chairman of the Texas Libertarian Party, issued a statement saying, “Libertarian principles require personal responsibility for your acts and failures. Obama and McCain failed to meet the deadlines. They must follow the law like everyone else.”

Barr first raised the issue in a press release earlier this month. Ashley Burton, a spokesperson for the Texas Secretary of State’s office, responded at that time, saying, “Both parties made filings with our office before the deadline, supplemented their filings and will be on the November ballot.”

Barr plans to hold a news conference at the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday.

Details of the lawsuit are provided on the Barr campaign’s website.

21 Responses to “Barr campaign sues to get Dems and GOP off Texas ballot”

  1. Free Al. Says:

    ITS ABOUT TIME! I’ve been on pins and needles for weeks wondering if Barr was actually going to file a lawsuit to UPHOLD THE LAW. Now I can sleep a little easier, knowing we at least filed. I doubt I’ll be able to sleep soundly until I know the outcome, cause I keep worrying that these two will somehow wrangle their way onto the ballot illegally.

    Oh, and a bit of advice for the Texas LP. Maybe you should start printing flyers about Bob Barr, the only LEGAL candidate for president on the ballot in 2008. Then, a breif summary of the missed deadline, and concluding that if McCain and Obama are on the ballot, they are there illegally. A vote for Bob Barr is a vote for the Rule of Law. That could be an effective campaighn strategy. I’ll post this on the Barr Blog as well.

  2. Roscoe Says:

    Blow-back for the GOP’s attempt to keep Barr off the ballot in Pennsylvania. While it is inconceivable that Barr will win the Texas suit, this shows Libertarians won’t be pushed around. Next, let’s knock off one of their incumbents.

  3. Eric Dondero Says:

    Ironically, some Leftwing Libertarians are busy trying to get Bob Barr and Wayne Root kicked off of the Libertarian ticket.

    Great! So, McCain/Palin won’t be on the ballot, neither Obama/Biden, and we may not even have a Libertarian ticket to vote for.

    Perhaps it’s a giant plot by Democrat incumbent Nick Lampson to reduce voter turn-out so he can win re-election in his Houston District against Republican Pete Olson?

  4. Paul K. Says:

    I’m assuming that there is legal merit to the case as it would be bad form just to sue for the sake of suing. If so, it will be interesting to see how the Court explains why the law doesn’t apply and may help legal challenges in other states. Does anyone know which lawyers he is using?

  5. Bryan Says:

    Paul, there is legal merit. The deadline for certifying candidates was Aug. 26th. Dems didn’t certify until the 27th, and the Reps hadn’t even held their convention yet. Ballot-Access News has more info, as well as the actual brief filed. Legally, it’s pretty evident that the Texas Sec. of State violated the law…..but of course, it comes down to the judge.

  6. Impeach Bush Says:

    Didn’t the McCain campaign pull this on Bob Barr in one of the east coast states?

  7. MPM Says:

    Yeah apparently in Maine but there it was legally less clear cut because historically Maine has allowed a grace period of a week or so (for the past 4 elections) so the petition gatherers waited a bit too long before finishing their drive.

    This is huge though because it’s win win no matter the outcome:
    1. Barr wins, gets attention, probably gets into the last two debates, and likely grabs commanding electoral votes (34)
    2. Barr loses, the double standard is revealed, people laugh their asses off at the corruption, McCain agrees to ease up on his anti-ballot access push in a few states.
    3. Obama sees how beneficial this can be, admits one of his staffers committed perjury by lying about the submitted filing, supports Barr’s case, he wins.

  8. Justin Grover Says:

    Paul K. - Local counsel is LP TX’s Supreme Court Nominee, Drew Shirley. Once the pro hac vici is done, it will be the lawyer I work for, Orrin Grover, who is attorney of record for LP OR, but has experience in Texas through his private practice.

  9. Ayn R. Key Says:

    This is the first good thing Barr has done all campaign (and I’m including his announcing that he’s entering the campaign in my tabulation).

  10. Michael Seebeck Says:

    One question: did the LPTX file the suit as was reported last week, or did Barr?

    In eithe rcase, I hope they win. 34 electoral votes thrown up in the air makes everything interesting again.

  11. Justin Grover Says:


    The Relators are Bob Barr, Wayne Root, and the Libertarian Party of Texas. The Full petition is available at our website,

  12. Rock Howard Says:

    As one of the 34 potential LP electoral voters in Texas, I am certainly bemused by this development. I just wish there was clearer path for leveraging this situation into improved elections laws here in Texas.

    I have 0% expectation that this lawsuit will change the Texas ballot, so I guess that we have to hope that a legal precedent that said that candidates cannot be knocked off of the ballot for rather trivial technical violations would tend to help third parties and independents. However I wonder if such a precedent would ever be applied for other than duopoly candidates.

    If nothing else this effort can try to demonstrate that one way to get rid of a truly stupid law is to insist on enforcing it.

  13. Rock Howard Says:


    Thank you for pointing out the filings. I wonder why Remedy #2 (decertification of Sarah Palin as VP candidate) is offered since it is a subset of Remedy #1 which seeks to decertify Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin?

    Otherwise to my untrained eyes I have to admit that this looks like a pretty decent effort on such short notice. Well done.

  14. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    If the Democrats and Republicans are kicked off the ballot, will they easily be able to achieve write-in status? If McCain is able to be written in and counted, I guess both parties can mobilize pretty easily and McCain should still be able to win, unfortunately.

  15. Justin Grover Says:

    Updated the links to provide a copy of the filed petition

  16. Richgriffin Says:

    This isn’t anything new. Cycle after cycle the Democrats and Republicans don’t follow the laws in state after state (i’d be surprised if it was only Texas this time around). The more troubling aspect of all this is the double standard that allows for McKinney and Nader to be off the ballot in Texas. My hope is for a lawsuit AFTER the election disputing the votes of the illegal ballot lines for Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin.

  17. Paul K. Says:


    Thanks. I printed it out and will read it tonight. Good work.

  18. MPM Says:

    Catholic Trotskyist,

    No, the deadline has passed for valid write-in candidate filings, so if Barr is victorious in this lawsuit then your Messianic Obama shall likely win.

  19. DeeDeeT Says:

    Mr. Grover, Esq …

    excellent document Sir. The argument is well-presented. You can only lose your case if the Court ignores the Law.

    I do note on pg. 13, near the bottom, you wrote:

    “The more important question is whether Texas a state of laws or a state of convenient exceptions.”

    Grammatically, the sentence should contain a second verb “is” immediately after Texas. I would hate to see another inquiry into the legality of ‘Presidential’ activity again get bogged down in a conflict over what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is !

  20. Doremus Jessup Says:


    “then your Messianic Obama shall likely win.” Not necessarily. Go to Dave Leip’s Election Atlas and click on the electoral vote calculator: and then put Texas in the “I” column (green). Click on recalculate totals and you will see both Obama and McCain TIED at 252 EVs. Per the 12th Amendment, the top three go to the House of Reps, Senate decides VP. Obama, McCain, and Barr. However, two of these three are not natural born citizens, so section 3 of the 20th Amendment comes into play…. LORD VOLDERMORT becomes the acting president unless congress, by law per the 20th Amend, reconvenes the Electoral college. God help us!!

  21. Jason Gatties Says:

    I’m no fan of Bob Barr as my party’s nominee. That being said, I hope his lawsuit is a success. There should never be special rules for Democrats & Republicans.

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