The Libertarian Party is working to get its presidential candidate on the ballot as a Libertarian in Ohio and elsewhere. They've got a lawsuit brewing in the Buckeye State, one that will be heard in a couple of weeks. Some background via the AP:
A rule put in place by former Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell required the party to turn in more than 40,000 signatures 120 days before the presidential primary. That law was struck down as unconstitutional in 2006 by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati because it violated the party's First Amendment rights of free association by preventing access to the ballot.
The Ohio Legislature, however, failed to craft a new law according to the court's guidelines, and current Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner had to come up with her own requirements. The Libertarian Party, however, still believes her directive violates the spirit of the court ruling. A hearing is set for July 14 in federal court in Columbus.
Brunner's magic number? 20,000 sigs 100 days before the primary.
Ballot-access restrictions are a continuing problem and should be a national outrage, regardless of the party in question. Especially in cases such as this one, where the law works to keep candidates from identifying themselves as belonging to a group that clearly and concisely gives information to voters in the ballot booth.