A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected Ralph Nader's attempt to sue Democrats who he says conspired to keep him off the ballot in the 2004 presidential election.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia says Nader's 2007 suit was filed too late, beyond the statute of limitations.
The consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate had named as defendants the Democratic National Committee, Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign and the Democratic lawmaker himself. Nader supported his allegations with a series of newspapers articles that quoted Democratic officials saying they did not want a repeat of the 2000 election, when Nader drew votes that they believe would have gone to Al Gore and cost the Democrats the election.
Among other claims, the lawsuit alleged that the Democratic Party tried to bankrupt Nader's campaign by suing to keep him off the ballot in 18 states. It also says former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe offered to support Nader's campaign in some states if he'd drop his campaign in the battlegrounds.
McAuliffe was on the ballot Tuesday in the Virginia gubernatorial primary.
Nader received 463,653 votes in the 2004 election, or 0.38 percent of total votes cast. Kerry lost the election to President George W. Bush, who won a second term.
Nader said he filed the lawsuit to make sure other independent and third party candidates would not be subject to the same kind of conspiracy in the future.