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Case Name Alaska Libertarian Party v. Fenumiai VR-AK-0012
Docket / Court 3:20-cv-00127 ( D. Alaska )
State/Territory Alaska
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Healthy Elections COVID litigation tracker
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This action, initially being tracked by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project, was filed on June 3, 2020 by the Alaska Libertarian Party, seeking lowered signature requirements to appear on the ballot for the 2 ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This action, initially being tracked by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project, was filed on June 3, 2020 by the Alaska Libertarian Party, seeking lowered signature requirements to appear on the ballot for the 2020 Presidential Election. The court issued an order on July 10 stating that it was unlikely to grant the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case on July 13, 2020.


The Alaska Libertarian Party filed this case on June 3, 2020 against the Alaska Director of Elections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska, seeking a waiver of the signature requirements to appear on the ballot for the 2020 Presidential Election, in light of COVID-19. The state's requirements provide that one method for obtaining ballot access is submitting a petition with signatures equal to 1% of the votes cast in the preceding Presidential election in Alaska at least 90 days prior to the general election. The plaintiffs argued that this signature requirements violated their First Amendment Rights to free speech, expression, and association, which are incorporated to apply to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs requested declaratory relief that the ballot access laws in the state were unconstitutional. They also requested an injunction to prohibit the enforcement of the ballot access laws and attorneys' fees. The case was assigned to Judge John W. Sedwick.

On June 11, 2020, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. They requested that the court either reduce or eliminate the petition requirement, or extend the 90 day deadline. In their motion, the plaintiffs suggested a signature threshold of 20% of the normal threshold, or equal to 0.2% of the votes cast in the 2016 Presidential Election.

On July 10, 2020, Judge Sedwick submitted an order that he was likely to deny the motion for a preliminary injunction. The court remarked that the purpose of this order was to give the plaintiffs an opportunity to increase their signature gathering efforts and noted that signature gathering efforts had not been made in many highly populated areas or had been targeted to registered Libertarian voters.

On July 13, 2020, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case. The case is now closed.

Nicholas Gillan - 03/11/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
General
Voting
Voting
Candidate qualifications
Election administration
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Alaska Director of Elections
Lieutenant Governor of Alaska
Plaintiff Description The Alaska Libertarian Party and the Chair of the Alaska Libertarian Party
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 06/03/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Alaska Libertarian Party v. Fenumiai
Healthy Elections Project
Date: 2020
By: Healthy Elections Project
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D. Alaska
07/13/2020
3:20-cv-00127-JWS
VR-AK-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Alaska
06/03/2020
Plaintiffs' Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
VR-AK-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Alaska
06/11/2020
Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction with Declaration of Scott Kohlhaas in Support [ECF# 5]
VR-AK-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Alaska
06/29/2020
Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Cross-Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 11 & 12]
VR-AK-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Alaska
07/03/2020
Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Preliminary Injunction with Declaration of Scott Kohlhaas in Support [ECF# 14]
VR-AK-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Alaska
07/10/2020
Order from Chambers [ECF# 17]
VR-AK-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Alaska
07/13/2020
Plaintiffs' Notice of Dismissal Under FRCP 41(a) without Prejudice [ECF# 18]
VR-AK-0012-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Sedwick, John W. (D. Alaska) show/hide docs
VR-AK-0012-0005 | VR-AK-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amodio, Thomas P (Alaska) show/hide docs
VR-AK-0012-0001 | VR-AK-0012-0002 | VR-AK-0012-0004 | VR-AK-0012-0006 | VR-AK-0012-9000
Wiest, Christopher David (Kentucky) show/hide docs
VR-AK-0012-0001 | VR-AK-0012-0002 | VR-AK-0012-0004 | VR-AK-0012-0006 | VR-AK-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Clarkson, Kevin G (Alaska) show/hide docs
VR-AK-0012-0003
Mills, Cori (Alaska) show/hide docs
VR-AK-0012-0003
Paton-Walsh, Margaret A (Alaska) show/hide docs
VR-AK-0012-0003 | VR-AK-0012-9000

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