Federal Judge Just Struck Major Blow Against Two-Party System: Media Silent

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

Last week, a federal judge provided a long overdue victory for alternative political parties in the United States. The ruling found the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the institution that oversees the Commission on Presidential Debates, failed to sufficiently examine evidence challenging two-party dominance in national debates.  The judge asserted there was no evidence “that the FEC considered the relevant factors or took a hard look at the evidence.”

The ruling, issued in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, focused on a 2014 complaint regarding the 2012 election filed by the non-profit organization Level the Playing Field. It also focused on objections from the Green Party and Libertarian Party (which were dismissed by a federal judge last year). According to Buzzfeed News, one of the few mainstream outlets to cover the ruling, there were two main elements:

The first part involves the FEC’s dismissal of two administrative complaints claiming the debate commission and its directors violated election laws by engaging in partisan activity in support of the Democratic and Republican parties. The Green Party, Libertarian Party, and other challengers presented evidence that commission directors contributed to candidates and made statements supporting particular parties.

The second part focused on Level the Playing Field’s request “that the FEC revise its rules to block the the commission from using a polling threshold to decide participation in presidential and vice-presidential debates.” The commission requires that a candidate receive 15% support or higher in five national polls in order to be invited to the debates. Level the Playing Field’s request was denied, and in response, the group compiled analysis from experts, who highlighted “the hundreds of millions of dollars a candidate would have to spend to meet the 15 percent polling target, and argued that the rule was not an objective criteria.”

They claimed “it was specifically designed to keep out candidates not affiliated with the Republican or Democratic parties,” Buzzfeed explained.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a faction of the Federal Election Commission, has been criticized for these biases before. The commission’s board of directors has overt partisan leanings. As the International Business Times has noted:

The Commission On Presidential Debates board is currently chaired by Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. and Michael D. McCurry. Fahrenkopf is a former chairman for the Republican National Committee and McCurry was press secretary under President Bill Clinton.”

As journalist Ben Swann astutely explained during the 2012 election:

So let’s be clear: a debate commission that’s run by former bigwigs from the Republican and Democrat parties and creates a 15% polling rule in five national polls isn’t trying to create inclusion — they’re trying to prevent it. If you don’t have the money of the two big parties, getting your name out nationally to get into those polls, well, it can only happen if you’re a billionaire like Ross Perot. Aside from billionaires, no one else has a chance.

Level the Playing Field’s suit further alleged that members of the board had conflicts of interest because of their political contributions. Judge Tanya Chutkan further documented the commission’s biases in her summary opinion:

Moreover, Fahrenkopf has stated that the CPD was not likely to look with favor on including third-party candidates in the debates, and Kirk has stated that he personally believed the CPD should exclude third-party candidates from the debates.

She also acknowledged the commission’s inherent commitment to the two-party system:

The CPD is ‘bipartisan’ by its own description: the press release announcing its formation stated that it was a ‘bipartisan . . . organization formed to implement joint sponsorship of general election presidential and vice-presidential debates . . . by the national Republican and Democratic committees between their respective nominees.’”

Ultimately, she ruled that the FEC “failed to show that it properly considered all of the evidence and arguments presented by the challengers” when it was supposed to review its rules in 2014. She called that rejection “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law,” asserting that “the evidence unaddressed – or outright ignored – by the FEC is quite substantial.” She also pointed out the FEC’s “refusal to engage in thoughtful, reasoned decision-making in either enforcement or rulemaking in this case.”

Chutkan ordered the commission to review its previous decision and gave them 30 days to do so. According to Peter Ackerman, Level the Playing Field’s founder, the decision “lays the groundwork for removing the primary obstacle to providing Americans with the independent alternative to the two parties that polls clearly indicate they want.

Alexandra Shapiro, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, praised the decision, pointing out that it “marked the first time the FEC and CPD have been successfully challenged over debate rules. This is an enormously important ruling.”

It could pave the way for a new kind of election in 2020,” she said.

In an age where Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the options the political establishment provides them, this small but vital ruling could signal a turning point when it comes to promoting exposure for presidential candidates who are not members of the country’s two-party duopoly.

Unsurprisingly, according to Buzzfeed, the FEC declined to comment on Judge Chutkan’s ruling.

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IridiumRebel's picture

Disestablishment Party

ACP's picture

Yeah the estalishment just wants this to pull votes from Trump in 2020, then back to the 2-party system.

NotApplicable's picture

So, they're leveling the playing field for fighting over control of the gun pointed at my head?

Why, I feel more free already.

cheka's picture

media silent = skype like the single red/blue party

peddling-fiction's picture

Finland is an example of lots of political parties and it is a crazy house. The small political party leaders are mistreated on TV for all to see and hear.

Divide and conquer is what they are up to. See this video on Rules for rulers.

There is a part on how a democracy works, that explains this process very well.


07564111's picture

There is a part on how a democracy works


i think you're peddling-fiction ;)

peddling-fiction's picture

Chuckle. How it is manipulated is more precise.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Look, you want to upend the two party system? It's simple. Make a constitutional amendment that says that every election has to have the first option as "None of the Above".

If "None of the Above" is the largest vote getter, then in 30 days you have another election and all of the previous candidates are excluded from running. They can run the next election cycle, but they are excluded from any secondary balloting. That's how you get fresh faces and wider recognition of disparate voices.

Of course, hell will freeze over before democrats and republicans ever vote for it.

sinbad2's picture

I like your idea, I have written non of the above at a couple of elections here, voting is compulsory, and preferential, but sometimes I just couldn't vote for either scumbag.

angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) 07564111 Feb 9, 2017 7:27 PM

happily,the usa is a republic, NOT A DEMOCRACY

peddling-fiction's picture

Finland is also a Republic and it is getting screwed by democracy.

Sam.Spade's picture

Not sure I agree with your basic premis, but you are right about the video.  It's great.  Everyone should watch it at least twice because it's not just about 'democracy', but about heirarchial control structures of all sort, including dictatorships and corporations.

peddling-fiction's picture

Maybe my premise is that political parties should not exist.

The political parties are parasites and can be guided easily behind the scenes as they unfortunately are.

I have watched that video countless times, just to make sure I never forget.

junction's picture

Both ruling parties share a pizzagate philosophy.  Terminal degeneracy.

ThanksChump's picture

"Disestablishment Party"


I'm against that.

Scrabble, anyone?

RiverRoad's picture


barysenter's picture

I give the court a 1 finger salute on behalf of Ross Perot and Ron Paul.

Sam.Spade's picture

Voted for them both.  Didn't do much good, though.

Voted for Regan also.  Didn't help much there, either.

Because the fundamental problem isn't the people we put into office, but the office.  Power corrupts, and there is plenty of it in every elected Federal office to do the job.

The only solution is to break up the power of Washington and redistribute it back to the States, local counties, and individuals.

peddling-fiction's picture

"redistribute it back to the States, local counties, and individuals."

Yep, you got it. It's back to the townhall, and a non-intrusive State.

orangegeek's picture

According to Buzzfeed News, one of the few mainstream outlets to cover the ruling, there were two main elements:




fedupwhiteguy's picture

Yeah. the moment i saw the author reference Buzzfeed as a MSM organization I started my cynical scan. Buzzfeed here, Buzzfeed there. Fuck that POS. Btw, this was my favorite rebut/reaction response to a Buzzfeed feminazi video:



MFL5591's picture

Unelected and has no buisness in this sort of matter.  That is what the legislative branch is for A$$ hole!

wow thats crazy's picture

Does this mean the pizza and pasta boy party is over???

angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) Feb 9, 2017 6:35 PM

Where in the consititution does it mention political parties?

The founding fathers worked very hard to outlaw them as they were aware of being victimized by centuries of european bank and government frauds

Sadly, it didn't take long for these criminal groups to remerge in the usa following the revolution. The big money immediately seized control of the tiny us government and the banks over ran the populace.

Currently, the usa is now controlled by 2 common parties that nominate incompetents, run  campaigns on phony issues, and collect $billions from oligarchs.

In other words, your privacy, liberty, and economic freedom are all FOR SALE

Citxmech's picture

"Where in the constitution does it mention political parties?"

The part that enacted a winner-take-all, rather than parliamentary/proportional representational system.

No proportional representation, and you end-up with 2-party, divide and conquer system. 

angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) Citxmech Feb 9, 2017 7:26 PM

The founding fathers designed a REPUBLIC that didn't need political parties.

The electoral college system was implemented to further diminish the influence of a powerful minority just like our congress is based on both population in the house and equal state representation in the senate ( aka the great compromise)

Years of european style bank fraud and phony royalty  taught the founding fathers how to design a fair republic.

Thank Christ California and New England weren't allowed to over ride  the 33 states that carried TRUMP to victory.

Only special interest groups use parties to rig elections, nominate worthless candidates, allow big $money to control legislation,  and undermine majority rule.

Sadly, the dull witted gringos gave away their control of the election system and now we are just as corrupt as europe 500 years ago.

Arrow4Truth's picture

Which part would that be?

StinkyLebinowitz's picture

I hereby am announcing my canidacy for President of the United States representing the Stinky Party, so where do I pick up my debate passes ???

dlfield's picture

I think Political Parties should be outlawed, period.

political junkie's picture

So did Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and a few others

g'kar's picture

Far as I can see there is only one party: The Central Global Banking Mafia Party

besnook's picture

here is better news. this is the start of the end of the 2 party monopoly(i know there is more than one, dumbass). fewer signatures needed to register a political party.


JailBanksters's picture

Without a two party system it would be Impossible to get 51% of the vote.

You'd need a preference voting system which is even more dodgy.

The Winner could be the one the majority of people did NOT vote for !

And Yes, this happens in Australia

One thing they do have in common:

The Captain is NOT picked by People, they are picked by the Team, the Public can only approve their decision.




angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) JailBanksters Feb 9, 2017 7:16 PM

bubba clinton won with 41% vote

the snow flakes are upset that crooked lost even though she only won 17 states

JailBanksters's picture

It comes down to how you count the votes.

By total votes or by area.

And in Australia, the boundaries do change over time due to shifting population.

In effect you can rig the election by moving the boundaries, called redistribution.


political junkie's picture

called gerrmandering here in US:




Corporatist scum controls all politicians, and political parties. The Corporate Oligopoly has been destroyed since 08, but the shaddow gubbermint kept it all afloat with lies, cooked books, and drug money, but now they don't have anything more to play with except moar QE Infinity which will kill the remaining corporatists off as soon as the Global Banking Empire decides to reveal their second set of books that show the real loss since 08. Everything is imploding and the 08 crash was never stopped since 08. The real devastation is arriving now, and within days it will be clear to all that the entire Western world banking system is going to be completely wiped out ensuring that the 1% will be publically executed as they attempt to bug out from their handiwork.

Archibald Buttle's picture

so...i should be sharpening my pitchfork instead of doinking around on the internet?

Reaper's picture

Judges and politics are a filthy mess. US federal judges use both the "rule of law" and the rule of "equity," http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/jurisdiction_equity.html

Equity, aka fairness, is totally arbitrary. Equity with political choices? Congress has the power under the Constitution to require federal courts to use only the "rule of law." Equity masks stupidity/corruption/politics/favoritism/whim.

hoyeru's picture
hoyeru (not verified) Feb 9, 2017 7:32 PM

USA and UK are the only two allegedly "Democratic" countries in the world with two party system which is actually is only one. Funny how countries that keep on talking about being Democracies in fact make sure to do eveything in their power to restrict and kill any attempt at creating a 3rd party. Even Iran has more parties than USA. USA is just a big giant fake.


Congrats Alexandra Shapiro! Is it true that, as Jill Stein said last year, it was Mitt Romney's lawyers fighting against you? 

Librarian's picture

>Federal Judge Just Struck Major Blow Against Two-Party System

I would argue that the exact opposite has happened.

If the FEC action were overruled Trump would have been more easily forced to run as a third party.

I think we all know how that would have turned out.

"...Have a seat over here.  ...and say Hello to Sidney, Clayton and Jugdish."

The two parties are now retrenching and doing whatever they can possibly do to prevent another outsider like Trump from rushing the door.

Barney Fife's picture

Hell, giving the Republicrats/Demopublicans some honest competition for the first time in two hundred plus years might actually save their lives if you think about it.

Why? Well, with this Uniparty monopoly on power growing by the year they are becoming more brazen in screwing us and milking every last bit of sweat and blood out of the public. Joe Sixpack that is.  

Sooner or later the American publlic will turn on them and slaughter them and their masters out of fed up frustration and desperation. 

This opens the door to a peaceful alternative and IMO that is a good thing. 

Crash Overide's picture

Why does it have to be about political parties?

Why can't it be what's good for everyone and the planet we live on.

There will always be retards, but surely we can do better than the cockroaches in Washington.

Barney Fife's picture

Organization = Power,

Power = Exploitation,

Exploitation = Wealth,

Wealth + Power = Control,

Organization = Control.