Under a Connecticut election law, political parties that had not garnered enough votes to automatically list candidates on election ballots were required to petition the Secretary of State for permission to have candidates listed on ballots. To do so, state law required political parties to collect a minimum number of voters' signatures. In many instances, political parties typically hire professionals, including those from other states, to gather signatures. Connecticut election law, however, forbade the use of these out-of-state "circulators." On behalf of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut, a political party affected by these rules, the ACLU of Connecticut successfully argued that banning political parties from using out-of-state circulators constituted a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.
Libertarian Party v. Merrill
Dan Barrett (ACLU-CT)
Pro Bono Law Firm(s)
Stanley A. Twardy, Jr., Daniel E. Wenner, John W. Cerrata, and Daniel J. Raccuia of Day Pitney LLP
December 30, 2015
U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
Janet C. Hall