Independent Voter Project

IVP Files Amicus Brief in Support of Level the Playing Field Against CPD

In April of 2016, the Independent Voter Project (IVP) filed a brief of amicus curiae with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. in the case Level the Playing Field, et. al. v. Federal Election Commission. Level the Playing Field, along with the national Green and Libertarian parties, are challenging the legality of a presidential debate rule that prevents candidates outside the Republican and Democratic parties from being competitive in presidential elections.

“Without participating in one of the two parties’ private nomination processes, a candidate cannot realistically qualify for the presidential debates. And without entrance into the presidential debates, no candidate can challenge the nominees of the two parties in the competition of ideas and governmental policies,” writes IVP attorney Chad Peace in the amicus brief.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in June 2015, charging that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) and certain of its directors have violated federal election law, including an FEC regulation that requires organizations like the debates commission to be “nonpartisan” and to use “objective criteria” to determine who can be in their debates.

Oral argument is to be heard on the case in January of 2017.

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Read the IVP Amicus:


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  • commented 2017-07-03 16:28:33 -0700 · Flag
    The anti-democratic collusion between the two parties, FEC and Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) absolutely must be countered by Level the Playing Field, et al. v. @FEC @Debates. However, it sounds like that only opens the presidential debates to other party candidates, not the parties’ own primaries. If we independents want quality alternatives with adequate support, then how can we ensure significant campaign funding for other parties? Has that been addressed in other IVN articles? That will be necessary to break the DNC/RNC stranglehold on our elections process. Establishing fair, disciplined debate processes and getting biased media moderators out of it must also be done, but probably isn’t possible short of complete replacement of the CPD with a truly non-partisan organization. Finally, once other parties can share the stage, then we need ranked-choice voting to encourage greater voter participation rates when they see that their vote cannot be accidentally wasted on a “non-winner” candidate. Ranked-choice voting is working well in a wide variety of elections from large metro to small towns. It should be standard everywhere.