Independent Voter Project

Oral Arguments Heard in Lawsuit Challenging Commission on Presidential Debates' Nonprofit Status

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. heard oral arguments today in the lawsuit filed by Level the Playing Field (LPF) challenging the nonprofit status of the Commission on Presidential Debates, just under two weeks before President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office.

LPF’s lead attorney, Alexandra Shapiro, provided extensive evidence, analysis, and historical background to support the plaintiffs’ claim that the Commission on Presidential Debates uses unfair criteria to keep competitive voices outside the two major parties out of presidential debates.

Specifically, LPF takes issue with the 15% rule that requires candidates outside the Republican and Democratic Parties to poll at 15% in 5 national polls selected by the debate commission to gain entry into the debates.

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