(The following was originally published in Philly Now.)
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and tomorrow, the rules for Pennsylvania’s independent parties will still be unfair. But for the time being, there’s at least a glimmer of hope for the Keystoners who want to see the Green, Libertarian, Constitution, Communist, and other parties on their ballot alongside Democrats and Republicans when they hit the voting booth.
Last week, a federal court handed a win to those independent political parties seeking some reprieve from the state that likes to watch them squirm each election year. Notably, independent and minor parties now have the ability to challenge the law that says their candidates kicked off the ballot have to pay their major party opponents’ legal fees.
To catch you up to speed on this, Pennsylvania law is not only unique in that it requires a hell of a lot more signatures for third party candidates than major parties; it also requires third party candidates to pay their opponents legal fees if they get kicked off the ballot after a challenge to those signatures.