Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Challenges Nevada Ballot Access Laws in Lawsuit Against Secretary of State


Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has initiated legal action against Nevada’s secretary of state over his interpretation of state laws concerning ballot access. 

Nevada Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar is facing the lawsuit due to his interpretation of a law that necessitates a candidate to have a confirmed running mate in their petition to stand for office. This interpretation would compel the Kennedy campaign, which aims to be on the ballot in all 50 states, to restart their petition process in Nevada.

“This is a clear case for the federal court to apply the doctrine of equitable estoppel to prohibit the Secretary of State from changing his mind after providing binding statutory instruction upon which the campaign properly relied to our detriment,” stated Paul Rossi, senior counsel for the Kennedy campaign.

“The court must prohibit what was either rank incompetence or partisan political gamesmanship by the Secretary from invalidating petition signatures afforded the highest First Amendment protection by the United States Supreme Court,” he added.

The lawsuit seeks an emergency injunction to prevent the enforcement of Aguilar’s interpretation of Nevada’s ballot laws for third-party candidates. It argues that Nevada’s “ambiguous and conflicting” ballot rules are unconstitutional, as they impose different standards on third-party candidates compared to mainstream candidates.

“Nevada has a rich history of independent and third-party candidates for office. Each of those candidates managed to attain ballot access by following the law. We look forward to seeing Mr. Kennedy’s team in court,” Aguilar mentioned in a statement

Earlier this year, the Kennedy campaign was approved by state officials to appear on the ballot without yet listing a running mate, a decision the state has subsequently termed an “error.” The campaign has since announced Nicole Shanahan as Kennedy’s running mate.

The campaign also claimed that the petition form “provides only a single line for a single candidate.” 

A late-April poll in Nevada showed Kennedy receiving 7.7% of the state’s support, with former President Donald Trump maintaining an advantage over President Joe Biden in the key battleground state.

Annabella Rosciglione
Annabella Rosciglione
Breaking News Reporter. Annabella is a graduate of UW-Madison where she worked at the Daily Cardinal reporting on Wisconsin politics.

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