The Libertarian Party (Libertarian National Committee, Incorporated) is apparently preparing to file suit against the New Hampshire Secretary of State. The lawsuit will demand that the state place Bob Barr on the ballot, and remove George Phillies from the ballot.
This suit is separate and distinct from the ACLU lawsuit in Massachusetts to substitute Bob Barr in place of George Phillies on the Massachusetts ballot.
Strangely, many who should have been informed of this action seem to have not been informed at all. The list of those who were not informed appears to include LNC members Angela Keaton, Lee Wrights, Mary Ruwart, Rachel Hawkridge, and even LNC Vice-Chair Michael Jingozian.
Even more strangely, it appears that the LNC’s retained attorney, Bill Hall, was not apprised that the LNC is taking this action through another attorney.
Professor George Phillies, as well as the LPNH State Chair, received calls late yesterday from the attorney handling the planned lawsuit for the LNC. However, while Dr. Phillies has agreed to cooperate with the lawsuit to place Bob Barr on the ballot in Massachusetts, Phillies will oppose any effort to remove him from the ballot in New Hampshire, due to an ethical obligation to all the New Hampshire voters who signed petitions.
Dr. Phillies is currently the only Libertarian presidential candidate on the New Hampshire ballot.
When nominated, Bob Barr and the LNC faced a choice if they wanted Barr to be on the New Hampshire ballot. They could either do their own petitioning in New Hampshire, or litigate. They petitioned, and have filed over five thousand nominating papers in New Hampshire. News of a separate LNC lawsuit came as a surprise, since they had already filed the nominating papers.
Why is the LNC litigating? It is not clear, but it is possible that they wish to make an example of the outspoken Dr. Phillies, who has openly opposed Barr and the LP on a number of issues, by actually removing him from the ballot. However, since Dr. Phillies met all state criteria for ballot inclusion, and has already been formally qualified by the Secretary of State, it is extremely unlikely that any court would ever remove him without his agreement.
It is unknown at this time exactly when the suit will be filed, or when or if LNC Chair Bill Redpath is planning to tell the LNC members and the LNC’s regular retained counsel about the suit. It is also unknown how the LNC intends to fund the lawsuit, in light of its recent fundraising weakness.