Oral arguments begin at 1:30 p.m. today in the case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to force the state to allow Green Party candidates on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.
U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. is being asked to uphold his own 1996 ruling, which said that ballot access requirements should be the same for new political parties as for independent candidates.
As it stands now, independent candidates only need to collect 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot, while third-party candidates need over 24,000.
This year, the Green Party submitted around 18,000 signatures.
If Howard upholds his decision, former State Rep. Jim Lendall will represent the Green Party as its candidate for governor in the general election.