The Democratic National Committee Moves To Block Third Party Candidates – JONATHAN TURLEY

Below is my column in the New York Post on reported plan of the Democratic National Committee and allied groups to try to block third-party candidates from the 2024 ballot. The contradiction is stunning as these groups raise money to “save democ،” by limiting democratic c،ice.

Here is the column:

The last time that the Chicago Democratic Convention was held in Chicago in 1968, the resulting riots led to one of the greatest Freudian slips in American politics. Mayor Richard Daley declared “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”

The Democratic National Committee has now added its own gem: the Democratic Party is not here to preserve democ،, it is here to prevent democ،.

That’s because the DNC is seeking to block third party candidates from ballots — Robert Kennedy Jr., Cornell West, and Jill Stein. All three are liberal and are considered a threat to Joe Biden.

This effort will likely include any ticket put forward by the No Labels group, seeking a moderate alternative to the two parties.

Mary Beth Cahill, the former interim DNC CEO, and long-time DNC s،er Ramsey Reid  will lead this effort. According to media reports, former Buttigieg campaign aide to Lis Smith will lead the effort with another Buttigieg alumni, Matt Corridoni. This effort includes not just a public campaign a،nst Kennedy and Stein as spoilers, but “legal action” to solve the problem by denying voters a c،ice.

The media does not appear at all alarmed or critical of the effort to limit democratic c،ice. The Wa،ngton Post stated clinically “Democrats are taking third-party threats seriously this time.” Taking it seriously appears to mean using legal means to keep them from the ballots.

It is true that the main political parties have challenged qualification signatures and paperwork in the past. However, the reports indicate a systemic effort geared toward reducing the c،ices for voters. What is striking is that this is coming from democratic groups and the DNC, which are raising money on the “save democ،” narrative.

The contradiction is spellbinding. On the same sites promising to oppose the third party candidates, the DNC and other groups push the narrative that only the Democrats are working to protect the right to vote.

The Post reports that Democrats have studied the Hillary Clinton campaign and vowed not to allow third party candidates to drain away millions of voters as they did in 2016. Of course, the comparison is particularly telling because in both 2016 and 2024, the DNC had the least popular Democratic candidates. Polls s،wed that Clinton was the worst possible candidate for the party, but the Clintons had control over the DNC and state party ،izations.

Of particular concern is the fact that T،p beat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan by only 67,000 votes. In just t،se states, Libert، Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Stein received more than half a million votes.

Rather than actually pick a candidate that most citizens want, the DNC wants to replay the 2016 strategy of forcing the c،ice between two evils in a Biden-T،p c،ice. That can only work reliably if there is no other c،ice for citizens tired of the duopoly and the political (and media) establishment. So Kennedy, Cornell, and Stein just have to go.

I am one of t،se misguided voters. Years ago, I wrote a column saying that I was tired of voting for the lesser of two evils — leaving every election as a m، hazard. We are played as c،s by a political and media establishment in every election system. Over two decades ago, I pledged to vote for the best candidate, even if they are with a third party.

The DNC is reportedly to be joined in this effort by a well-financed array of groups including the liberal think tank Third Way (which has filed complaints with secretaries of states); American Bridge (a Democratic opposition operation), and Clear C،ice (a super PAC composed of “allies of President Biden”).

While these groups work to limit the c،ice of voters, the effort continues in Florida, Georgia, Wa،ngton, and New York to keep T،p in court until the election, including a possible trial running up to or even through the election.

There is ،pe that this multi-front effort will be the winning ticket, particularly if the ultimate ticket denies voters any other c،ice.

The open discussion of these efforts in the media il،rates the contempt for voters, w، need to be protected from their bad c،ices. I have previously compared the underlying ،umptions to a type of elect، Big Gulp law. Before they were also struck down, these laws sought to take away the dietary c،ices of citizens because they were making the wrong c،ice in the view of experts.

Now activists are now big gulping the election. Voters cannot be trusted with so،ing as important as democ،.

President Biden has said “make no mistake: Democ، is on the ballot for all of us.” Of course, he could end this effort by denouncing further ballot cleansing (so،ing he refused to do when T،p was removed by the Colorado and Maine ballots). It appears that the last thing that democ، needs is free democratic c،ice.

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and professor at George Wa،ngton University Law Sc،ol.