Judge considers suit over third party ballot rules

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal judge is considering a request for summary judgment in favor of two political parties who say that Tennessee laws make it unconstitutionally hard for third parties to get their names on the ballots.

U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes Jr. heard oral arguments Monday over the state's restrictions, which are similar to those Haynes threw out as unconstitutional over a year ago, The Tennessean reported.

The Green and Constitution parties sued the state in July over the deadline to collect signatures. For a minor political party to get its name on the Tennessee ballot in 2012, more than 40,000 signatures would have to be collected by April 5, which an attorney for the parties argued was too restrictive.

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