Texas Republicans Try (And Fail) to Boot Libertarians from Ballot

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

It should come as no surprise that, along with most of the Chicks, I’m a pretty big fan of Texas Republicans (hi Dan 🙂 ). So no one is more surprised to hear me say this than me: I am extremely disappointed in Texas Republicans right now.

Republican candidates in the Lone Star State decided to take a page out of Democrats’ book (which, maybe let’s NOT) and petitioned the Texas Supreme Court to remove certain candidates from the ballot this November. While the Democrats managed to remove a bunch of Green party competitors for not having paid their candidate fees, Republicans were not as successful in their attempt to kick 40 libertarians out of the race.

[The] court dismissed the case as moot, saying it was no longer timely because the Aug. 21 deadline to declare a candidate ineligible had passed. The Republicans’ petition was filed Aug. 21.

This latest lawsuit filed by the Republicans names 40 Libertarian candidates, including two candidates for Texas Supreme Court, three for Texas Senate, 10 for Texas House and 25 for Congress.

The high court doesn’t have much time to take action: Friday was the deadline for the Secretary of State to certify candidates for the ballot.

“It’s a last-ditch effort on their part,” said Libertarian Party of Texas Chair Whitney Bilyeu. “They’re clearly desperate to do everything they can to remove voter choice at the polls to continue to have a one-party state here in Texas.”

This is exactly the kind of stunt I expect from Democrats. It didn’t surprise me at all to learn that they pulled this BS first. But Republicans?? Come on. The right is BETTER than this. . . right? We don’t rig the game so we can win it– at least, we didn’t. If Republicans didn’t win on the merit of their ideas, they accepted the loss (something the Hillary Clintons and Stacey Abramses of the world could stand to learn) and did better next time. Please don’t tell me that’s a thing of the past.

The path to victory for Republicans is a smooth and narrow one. The path to victory for libertarians is steep, full of potholes, and lined with aggressive bats. There is no good reason to add partisan red tape to the mix. Elections are meant to be up to the voters, not the courts. Let’s not forget that again.