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Supreme Court declines to intervene in Montana’s legal fight over Green Party on ballot
Photo credit: Stephanie Sundier
Supreme Court declines to intervene in Montana’s legal fight over Green Party on ballot

US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan denied the emergency application for a stay on Tuesday filed by Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton related to the fight over whether Green Party candidates should be included on the ballot for the upcoming general election.

Stapleton filed the application on Monday against the Montana Democratic Party requesting that the Supreme Court stay the Montana Supreme Court’s judgment “removing state and federal Green Party candidates from the general election ballot after the Party held a primary election and on the eve of general election ballot printing.”

Stapleton alleged that the Montana Supreme Court’s actions have “created chaos out of Montana’s otherwise orderly election process, without ever adequately considering the First Amendment rights of Green Party candidates, voters, and ballot access supporters.” He further contested the fact that no Green Party candidate or supporter was able to intervene in the case, and the court’s decision “disenfranchised nearly 13,000 qualified electors who signed the petitions to place the Green party on the ballot.”

The Montana Supreme Court’s ruling at issue came from the case Royal Davis et al. v. Corey Stapleton and the Montana Democratic Party, in which the court affirmed the ruling of the District Court to remove Green Party candidates from the state’s election ballots for the 2020 general election. The court discussed a petition assembled by the Montana GOP that collected signatures to place the Green Party on the ballot. The Montana Green Party itself stated that it had not taken part in this petition. The court’s assessment was that adding the Green Party under such circumstances was considered inappropriate, likely to cause irreparable harm, and contrary to the public interest.