A federal judge has thrown out efforts by Ralph Nader and his supporters to sue the Democratic National Committee and its allies for its efforts to force him off the 2004 Arizona ballot.
Nader, an independent, claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy and malicious prosecution by Democrats and others who filed suit to have him kicked off the ballot in several states, including Arizona. Aside from seeking damages for the money he spent defending those lawsuits, Nader asked U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina to block the party from what he claimed would be future violations of the law in connection with his bid for the White House.
But Urbina said Tuesday that Nader had no legal right to complain about what occurred in 2004. And the judge said any future violations - assuming any had occurred in the past - are purely speculative.
In his lawsuit, Nader said that the DNC, along with Sen. John Kerry, who was the party's nominee, and the Service Employees International Union, purposely filed lawsuits in several states, including Arizona, to keep him off the ballot. The real reason, Nader said, was to force him to spend his limited resources to defend the "unfounded lawsuits" rather than campaign for votes.
Urbina noted, though, that Nader lost lawsuits in Ohio, Oregon, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Nader said his campaign withdrew its petition to get on the Arizona ballot because of the cost of fighting the lawsuits. But Urbina pointed out that occurred after Secretary of State Jan Brewer ruled that he did not have the required 14,694 signatures to put his name on the ballot once petitions circulated by people who were not Arizona residents were disqualified.
The judge also used Tuesday's ruling to take a slap at Nader, chiding his efforts to blame others for his 2004 problems. He noted that Nader, in his 2000 effort, picked up 2.8 million votes. In 2004, however, Nader managed to garner fewer than 466,000 votes.