Monday, May 7, 2012

Reminder: Anti-Slate Law Was Determined to Be Unconstitutional in Ogden v. Marendt

I was asked about this the other day.  Indiana has a law on the books which is aimed at limiting the ability of candidates (or their supporters) to pass out literature in support of multiple candidates at the polls.   The law is designed to limit the ability of non-sated candidates to challenge the official slate in Marion County.  That law states:

IC 3-14-1-2
Printing, publishing, or distributing of slate during primary campaign without authority
Sec. 2. (a) A person who:
(1) prints, publishes, or distributes a slate during a primary election campaign without authority from and:
(A) over the name of an organization of voters, including the name of the organization and its officers; or
(B) if it is not an organized group of voters, over the names of at least ten (10) voters in the political subdivision in which the primary election is being held;
together with the name of the printer who printed the slate;
(2) prints on a slate during a primary election campaign the
name or number of a candidate without the candidate's written consent; or
(3) prints, publishes, or distributes a slate during a primary election campaign unless at least five (5) days before it is printed and published the written consent of the voters over whose names it is published and the written consent of the candidates in whose behalf it is distributed are filed in the office of the county election board in each county where the election is held;
commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) As used in this section, "slate" means a sample ballot, reproduction of an official ballot, or a listing of candidates:
(1) having the names or numbers of more than one (1) candidate for nomination at a primary election; and
(2) that expresses support for more than one (1) of the candidates set forth on the ballot or list.
As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.10. Amended by P.L.3-1987, SEC.463; P.L.10-1988, SEC.205; P.L.3-1997, SEC.399.

This law was held to be unconstitutional in Ogden v. Marendt, 264 F. Supp. 2d 785 (SD Ind. 2003).  The legislature has not formally repealed the law though and it remains part of the Indiana Code.  However, there is a permanent injunction against its enforcement.  I bring this up because of the large number of unslated candidates running in Marion County, there may be an attempt to by the party bosses to enforce this unconstitutional law.

22 comments:

Cato said...

Laws like that are similar to the "laws" boys conjure on schoolyards, telling the girls that if three cars drive by the corner during recess that the girl has to give the boy a kiss.

This is simply not a valid legislative exercise. Any law that is primarily self-serving and bereft of the necessary general and detached legislative applicability lacks the moral authority to compel respect in the governed.

artfuggins said...

Any one has always been able to produce a slate if they registered the slate with the Election Board. A group or party has the right to restrict their slated candidates from appearing only on the official slate. Obviously a person cannot put out a slate purporting to be a slate of any organization unless that group has given permission. In addition, every person on the slate has to have agreed to be on the slate. In other words a candidate for township office cannot put his/her name on a slate along with Obama or Romney or anyone else unless that person has given permission.

Cato said...

Responses like Art's continue to illuminate the pressing need to have all party affiliation stripped from ballots.

I don't care if you're a member of the Garden Club, the Moose, the Methodist Church or the Republican Party.

What you do in your spare time has no business being on a ballot.

Irishking23 said...

Vote for the O's. I did at 6 a.m.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Thank you Irish King.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Art, did you miss the part where I talked about Judge Tinder striking down that statute and enjoining the Election Board from enforcing it. You're simply stating what they law used to be.

Irishking23 said...

Bravo! I returned to my polling station at St. Simon School in Lawrence 10 and saw VOTE FOR OGDEN signs up. Orbison signs are also up. That's great! I hope that SAY NO TO THE O's message backfires on Marion County's Republican Party leadersip.

Irishking23 said...

I pray to God that we see the end of political patronage being doled out under the label of 'justice' in our Marion County courts.

guy77money said...

Since I only knew three judges I only voted for three. Two started with O's thou! Good Luck Paul!

Indy Rob said...

I voted for the O's. I hope that you run in the next election cycle, I think that your loss this time will highlight the need for party reform.
(and I can't remember election signs at the actual polls ever being anti-candidate before this election, just positive, such as vote for Joe)

Irishking23 said...

It is like a day of mourning around here with all of the LUGAR signs still up all over the place. Most other candidates’ signs have been taken down.
I wonder now: Did Indiana Republican Party voters kill Grandpa in yesterday’s election?

The Party slate of local judges won yesterday. Non-slated judicial candidates just didn’t stand much of a chance to beat the ‘slate’.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Thanks, Irish and Indy, for your support. We lost, but I think this may be the last slating for judges in Marion County. Call it a hunch. Some very important people hate the Marion County slating system. I think people are convinced udicial candidates aren't going to voluntarily stop submitting themselves to slating and paying $12,000 if they know it will guarantee them a judge position.

SW Lane said...

I didn't vote for you, and with some of your interpretations of law, don't think you would be a good judge/trier of facts, JMO. However, I do applaud your willingness to be a candidate, and it is not a bad thing at all to be a conscious of a political party. In that regard, your work here is probably more effective for reform in a political realm.

It's just too bad that Cato won't be able to secure a bailiff position.

Irishking23 said...

Paul's courage impresses me. I am not looking for any special favors---- political, judicial, legal or otherwise. All I hope to see come to pass is change in this Marion County court system of putting slated judges in by Party Chiefs.

Rhonda Lee said...

Whoo hoo!!! A respectable 12th place finish!!! All those green yard signs really got out the vote!

Marycatherine Barton said...

Valiant effort, Paul. Once again, the majority Marion County Republicans voted "the slate", as usual.

Irishking23 said...

Rhonda Lee
12th place wasn't so bad. After all a 10th place finisher won to pick up an oak bench.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Rhonda Lee, no down the ballot race like judge every drives turnout.

As far as the slate, if it was so well-qualified and could win on its own merit, why doesn't the party give the unslated candidates the same information the slated candidates get. We had to run the election not knowing who the Republicans are because they won't give us that information...yet they give it to the slated candidates, including phone numbers, emails, voting history, etc. I'd put my qualifications up against any of the slated candidates. Certainly I was much more qualified than probably all the first time judicial candidates. But if you don't have the list of Rs to do mailings to counteract, it doesn't matter what those qualifications are.

Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul K. Ogden said...

SW Lane, I'd be curious about what interpretations of the law you have found incorrect. You do realize I spent 3 1/2 years at the Court of Appeals interpreting statutes and case law and writing legal opinions? I can't imagine what legal position I've argued for that wasn't supported by the law.

Pete Boggs said...

Paul, you'll make a fine judge one day...

Indy Rob said...

In regards to SW Lane's comments "I did not vote for you and with some of your interpretations of law, don't think you would be a good judge/trier of facts,...".
I wonder how many of the candidates that SW actually voted for, have a blog or any other public forum showing their opinions or how any of these candidates would interpret the law. There is some sort of saying about the devil you know verses the one you do not know....