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1 Getting a New Party on California's Ballot during a Pandemic 1 (2021)

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         Getting   a  New   Party   on  California's Ballot
                        During a Pandemic
     Kishore  v. Newsom   (Dolly M.  Gee,  C.D. Cal. 2:20-cv-5859)
       A  complaint challenged the signature requirements to get a new
       party on the ballot during an infectious pandemic. Because gather-
       ing signatures was not the only way to get on the ballot, the district
       court denied the party relief. Voters could register as members of
       the new party, and registrations could be recruited by email or so-
       cial media.
           Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot;
       COVID-19;  laches; interlocutory appeal.
A minor  party's candidates for president and vice president filed a federal
complaint in the Central District of California on June 30, 2020, seeking re-
laxation of California's ballot petition signature requirements to become in-
dependent  candidates in the November  3 general election in light of social
distancing made  necessary by the global COVID-19   infectious pandemic.1
With  their complaint, the candidates filed an application for a temporary re-
straining order and a preliminary injunction.2
    The court assigned the case to Judge  Dolly M. Gee,3 who  denied  the
plaintiffs a temporary restraining order on the day that they requested one
for want of proper service on the defendants.4 On July 6, Judge Gee denied a
properly served July 1 application for a temporary restraining order' so that
she could afford Defendants the chance to fully brief the issues that Plain-
tiffs raise.6 Judge Gee set the case for a hearing by videoconference on July
21,7 later moved to July 20.'
    The hearing was open  to the public, including news media.9 During the
pandemic,  if the courthouse was open to the public, videoconference pro-
ceedings could be observed in the court's ceremonial courtroom.10 When the
courthouse was  closed to the public because of a pandemic surge, members
of the public, including the news media, could obtain from the clerk's office
contact information for the videoconference.

   1. Complaint, Kishore v. Newsom, No. 2:20-cv-5859 (C.D. Cal. June 30, 2020), D.E. 1.
   2. Application, id. (June 30, 2020), D.E. 4.
   3. Notice, id. (June 30, 2020), D.E. 5.
   Tim Reagan interviewed Judge Gee for this report by telephone on October 8, 2020.
   4. Minutes, Kishore, No. 2:20-cv-5859 (C.D. Cal. June 30, 2020), D.E. 9.
   5. Renewed Application, id. (July 1, 2020), D.E. 11.
   6. Minutes, id. (July 6, 2020), D.E. 13.
   7. Id.
   8. Order, id. (July 8, 2020), D.E. 15; see Minutes, id. (July 20, 2020), D.E. 21.
   9. Interview with Hon. Dolly M. Gee, Oct. 8, 2020.
   10. Id.
   11. Id.

Federal Judicial Center 1/23/2021


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