Soltysik v. Padilla is a federal lawsuit challenging sections of the California Elections Code, which prevent candidates for voter-nominated offices who are affiliated with non-qualified political parties from displaying their political party preference on the ballot. Instead, such candidates are forced to falsely identify as having no party preference on the ballot, in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments.

The suit, filed in federal court, was brought on behalf of Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik, the National Male Co-Chair and California State Chair of the Socialist Party USA, and Jennifer McClellan, a member of the Party’s National Committee, both of whom have clear preferences for the Socialist Party USA.

Party preference labels communicate enormous amounts of information to voters, including a sense of the candidate’s political ideology and policy platform, and are the primary determinant of how the vast majority of voters vote. Yet candidates like Plaintiffs are denied the ability to convey this vital information to voters – despite these labels existing only for the information of the voters.

October 8, 2015
ACLU SoCal filed suit in federal court. Read the complaint.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Kevin J. Minnick, Zachary F. Faigen, and Maximillian W. Hirsch

Date filed

October 7, 2015


United States District Court: Central District of California

Case number