On Tuesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, after he failed to get the required minimum of 10,000 signatures to get on the Virginia ballot.
Perry is seeking to have Virginia’s ballot access requirements struck down as unconstitutional.
All but two GOP Presidential candidates – Mitt Romney and Ron Paul – failed to get on the ballot.
“Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election,” Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan said, according to the Daily Caller.
The Hill adds:
Perry claims that the state’s laws in this situation violate his freedom of speech.
“Virginia’s requirement for petition circulators to be either eligible or registered qualified voters in the state violates Plaintiff’s freedoms of speech and association by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the challenge reads.
Rick Santorum said that Virginia’s laws are rigged in favor of the richest presidential candidates, while Newt Gingrich’s campaign called it a “failed system.” Failing to get on the ballot for Gingrich is doubly embarrassing, considering he has lived in the state for 12 years.
Perry’c complaint can be seen here.
A post at Hot Air notes:
One interesting bit comes in paragraph 18, which says Perry submitted “over 6,000 petition signatures from qualified Virginia voters.” According to the Virginia GOP, he submitted more than 11,900 signatures total, which I guess means … only slightly more than half were from qualified voters? Good lord. The other important part, which you should take two minutes to read, is Count 1 spanning paragraphs 24 through 28. He’s arguing that Virginia’s requirement that petition circulators all be residents of the state who are either registered to vote or eligible to be registered imposes a too-heavy burden on his right to engage in political speech and therefore violates the First Amendment. Is he right? Well, here’s the leading Supreme Court precedent that he cites, which is also mercifully short. Skip down to section III and take two more minutes to read that. The question for the Court in that case was ever so slightly different: Colorado law allowed only currently registered voters to be petition circulators, not people who were eligible but who hadn’t registered yet. It was slightly more restrictive than Virginia’s system, in other words — and the Court found that it did in fact violate the First Amendment.
The chairman of the Virginia Republican Party and members of the Elections Board are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
More on Rick Perry at lodeplus.com here.
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