Ralph Nader
Matthew Cavanaugh  /  Getty Images file
Ralph Nader, independent candidate for president in 2004, has been handed a costly ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
updated 8/23/2006 3:01:05 PM ET 2006-08-23T19:01:05

Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his running mate must pay more than $80,000 in expenses for the lawsuit that challenged their nominating papers and kept them off the 2004 ballot, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

There was an implication of "fraud and deception" in their petition drive, the court said in its ruling.

A group of Pennsylvania voters sued to block Nader and Peter Camejo, who were running as independent candidates, from being placed on the ballot.

As a result of the lawsuit, the state Commonwealth Court found wide-ranging improprieties among Nader and Camejo's petition signatures and disqualified nearly two-thirds of the 51,000 signatures they submitted.

In Wednesday's ruling, five justices said Nader and Camejo must pay the plaintiffs' transcription and stenography costs. A sixth justice said he did not think the law permitted the award of such costs, and the seventh said only about half of the bill was permissible.

A lawyer representing Nader and Camejo had argued that forcing them to pay costs would discourage future third-party candidates.

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