Friday, November 15, 2013

Libertarians challenge new Ohio ballot-access law

Libertarians challenge new Ohio minor-party law | The Columbus Dispatch - Jim Siegel:

November 8, 2013 - "The Libertarian Party of Ohio has filed a federal lawsuit this afternoon arguing that the law signed by Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday setting requirements for minor party recognition is unconstitutional.

"Mark Brown, the lead attorney for the lawsuit, said the timing of the law’s enactment – it takes effect Feb. 5, the day of the 2014 candidate filing deadline – and the law blocking minor parties from holding a primary election next year will be the key arguments.

"The lawsuit’s timing argument cites federal 1st and 14th Amendment violations, Brown said, It also makes a state constitutional argument under Article 5, Section 7, which says that 'all nominations for elective state, district, county and municipal offices shall be made at direct primary elections or by petition as provided by law.'

"'Basically what Ohio has done is retroactively taken ballot access away from the (Libertarian Party) and its candidates,' Brown said. 'You can pass valid retroactive legislation, but you have to be careful about it, and especially in the First Amendment or the voting context, it’s strongly frowned upon by the federal courts.'"

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