Gary Johnson loses antitrust debates lawsuit

Gary Johnson and Jill Stein appeared on the 'Tavis Smiley Show' in October 2016.
Gary Johnson and Jill Stein appeared on the “Tavis Smiley Show” in October 2016.

On Aug. 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit filed against the Commission on Presidential Debates by Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, who fronted presidential campaigns in 2012 for the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, respectively. Ballot Access News reports that Judge Janice Brown rejected the candidates’ arguments that practices keeping third-parties out of the debates violate First Amendment rights and antitrust laws. The lawsuit challenged an agreement between the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama presidential campaigns that gave the CPD sole power to host debates between them in 2012.

Johnson and Stein said that they “lost millions of dollars’ worth of publicity, campaign contributions, and matching funds that ordinarily would follow participation in the debates, as well as the salaries they would have earned as president and vice president if they won,” as detailed in the court’s opinion.

The other debates lawsuit, Level the Playing Field v. FEC, is still pending in U.S. District Court.

Reason and the Washington Examiner also reported on the loss.