Friday, January 17, 2014
The 6th Circuit has rejected the State of Ohio's request for an expedited appeal of a preliminary injunction against its new ballot access law. On November 6, 2013, Gov. John Kasich (R) signed into law more stringent signature requirements for minor political parties wishing to appear on the state's electoral ballot in 2014 (and beyond). On January 7, District Judge Michael Watson granted the Libertarian Party of Ohio's (et. al.) request for a preliminary injunction against the law--describing its likely consequences as to the state's 2014 elections as "patently unfair." The title of this post comes from this Columbus Dispatch article explaining why the 6th Circuit's decision--on January 15--probably ended the dispute as to the law's applicability in 2014:
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared away perhaps a final hurdle for minor parties to reach the ballot this year by denying the state’s request to expedite its appeal of a lower court’s injunction against Senate Bill 193 yesterday.
The denial to expedite is critical because the filing deadline to participate in a primary is Feb. 5. The law placed on hold last week by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson would have canceled all primaries for minor parties this year and set new rules and signature requirements for minor-party candidates to make the ballot this fall; the judge ordered 2013 election rules for minor parties to be followed this year.
Without an expedited appeal, the state’s challenge of Watson’s ruling would not likely be heard until perhaps next year, long after the May 6 primary and Nov. 4 general election.
This means that Libertarian gubernatorial challenger Charlie Earl, assuming he submits 500 valid signatures from registered voters by the Feb. 5 deadline, would appear on a May 6 primary ballot and likely advance to the general election.
Senate Bill 193 was dubbed by critics as the John Kasich Re-election Protection Act because it is presumed that Earl could siphon off conservative votes for Kasich this fall. Earl was among those who filed suit seeking an injunction.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Mike DeWine said, “Our folks are still reviewing” the appeals court’s ruling.
CRL&P related posts:
- Ohio's restrictions on minority party ballot access halted
- Green, Constitution parties join LPO's suit challenging constitutionality of Ohio's new ballot-access law
- Effect of Ohio's new ballot access law on 2014 election uncertain
- Federal judge suspends Ohio's restriction on petition circulators
- Ohio governor signs controversial ballot access bill, opponents to file lawsuit
- Ohio legislature to vote on controversial ballot access bill this week
- Ohio Senate passes bill imposing restrictions on third party ballot access