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6. Limit judicial review of claims under the ECA and other federal statutes to candidates for president and vice president

There is bipartisan interest in limiting the right to file a federal lawsuit under the ECA and other statutes to candidates for president and vice president. Generally, a federal court may consider a lawsuit that raises a federal question. This clarification would prohibit a federal court from deciding a federal statutory claim if raised by someone who is not on the ballot as a candidate for president or vice-president.

This clarification would not limit the existing rights of those who could bring a claim in federal court under the U.S. Constitution, including challenges brought under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses and Congress’s constitutional power to set the date for Election Day.

The Case For

Supporters argue an aggrieved candidate for president and vice president would certainly have a sufficient interest to pursue any serious claim under federal statutes that called into doubt the results of a presidential election. If even the candidates themselves don’t feel that there is a sufficient federal statutory question to warrant a lawsuit, proponents argue, then the country should be spared the uncertainty and disruption that could be caused by overly litigious actors wishing to create controversy where there really isn’t any.

The Case Against

Opponents argue that presidential and vice-presidential candidates aren’t the only ones who are adversely affected if those candidates were determined to have lost the election because a federal statute was violated. They argue that political parties, members of Congress, and even individuals who voted for the aggrieved candidates should be able to bring a federal lawsuit if they can show that federal court review is required to address the injury.