While not optimistic about its success, I believe that the lawsuit brought against the Commission on Presidential Debates is of historic importance. It warms my chilly heart to know that the plaintiffs have filed the opening brief in the appeal. The entire brief is available as a PDF, 49 pages in length, the first five of which are header text and citations.
The big philosophical matter at issue is whether the Sherman Anti-Trust Act applies to a case in which one corporate entity exercises a monopoly on the marketplace of presidential debates; also, whether the presidential campaign in its current form embodies commerce. The bigger, darker matter behind and amid that issue is whether our entire electoral process can be construed as a network of business transactions.
Keep in mind that this lawsuit was originally filed in September 2015, attempting to pressure the CPD into dropping its arbitrary criteria for appearance in the televised debates. Per the wiki:
In 2012, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the CPD, the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in D.C. Circuit Court citing the Sherman Act and claiming "restraint of trade" for denying competition to, for example, potentially receive the $400,000 annual presidential salary. The case was dismissed in 2014 due to lack of jurisdiction.
What's your opinion? As a challenge, answer that question to yourself before you read the brief; then, after reading, do you find any holes in the attorneys' argument? Does the attorneys' argument shed light on any holes in yours?
Confession: I haven't read the brief all the way through, but I plan to very soon.
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