PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Nine years after Ralph Nader made a failed presidential bid, a different administration is in the White House, his running mate is dead and his biggest role in the last election was as moderator of a debate for alternative candidates.
Still, he fights for 2004.
For four years, the consumer advocate and Green Party candidate has been accusing Democratic operatives of using illegal and malicious tactics against him in that campaign. The lawsuit has been winding through the courts since and appears to be far from a resolution.
Lawyers in the case made their second appearance in less than two years before the Maine Supreme Court on Wednesday, reduced to the same arguments they were making two years ago, thanks to various rulings and a new legal standard the case created.
With the election long over, and another losing bid for the presidency in 2008 also behind him, what keeps Nader fighting are his principles and an effort to clear his name.
It's important for independent candidates to defend their ballot access rights to ensure more independents in the future can run for office and that politics isn't dominated by a two-party system, his lawyer, Oliver Hall, said following Wednesday's hearing. Plus, Nader wants the record to show he didn't do anything wrong in attempting to get on the state ballots as a candidate.
"This is protecting voter choice," Hall said. "It's one thing to ensure voters get to the polls. It's another thing to ensure they have a meaningful choice. Often voters only have two choices, or in some cases one, on the ballot."
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