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The ACLU of Montana has appealed a federal court ruling that upheld the state's rules for independent candidates seeking to run for office.

The civil liberties group describes Montana's ballot access laws as among the most stringent in the nation. Independent candidates are required to file early, pay a steep filing fee and submit thousands of signatures to qualify to run for statewide office.

In 2008, the ACLU sued the Montana Secretary of State on behalf of Steve Kelly of Gallatin County, who unsuccessfully sought to run in 2008 as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon ruled that Kelly did not have standing in the case because he never made a serious attempt to meet the state's ballot requirements.

The ACLU on Monday asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene.

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