Ohio

Court Admits Ruling May Do 'Severe and Irreparable Harm' to Ohio Libertarian Party

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Charles Earl

The Ohio Libertarian Party (LPO) gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl was shot down by a U.S. circuit court yesterday and is taking his case to the Supreme Court as a final bid to get on the ballot.

As a recap, earlier this year Earl got enough signatures to run, but Secretary of State John Husted, a Republican, had him disqualified on a technicality: The person Earl hired to collect signatures failed to list the LPO as his employer. The would-be candidate has taken the case through the court system claiming that the signature collector's First Amendment rights, specifically his right to not declare his employer, are being denied by Husted.

The previous judge before the case said the burden of listing an employer was minimal, and sided against Earl.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday stood by that ruling and doesn't seem to care much about the impact this could have on the LPO. The Associated Press reports:

The three-judge panel acknowledged the decision could present "severe and irreparable harm" on the party and likely undermine its status as a ballot-qualified party in the state.

"We note that the LPO has struggled to become and remain a ballot-qualified party in Ohio, and we acknowledge that this decision entails that their efforts must continue still," the opinion said. "But we also note that we decide one case at a time, on the record before us. In so doing, we preserve the First Amendment's primary place in our democracy over the long run."

Regaining that status would require jumping through some serious hoops, thanks to a recent Republican-crafted law. Earl is making an appeal to the Supreme Court, though that won't yield anything in time for the May 6 primary.

Earl accuses the Ohio GOP of deliberately setting up barriers to his candidacy out of fear that he will take votes away from Gov. John Kasich. Significantly (and perhaps surprisingly), the courts agree. The district court that previously sided against the Libertarian acknowledged that "operatives or supporters of the Ohio Republican Party" orchestrated a plot against him. The circuit court reaffirmed this yesterday, lumping the Democratic Party into the conspiracy, too. This meddling and undermining competition in elections has no legal bearing on the very serious issue of failing to meet a technicality.

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  1. You can vote for anyone you want as long as its an officially approved candidate.

  2. We need to pull a Reagan and just take over the GOP.

    1. What’s this “we” stuff, Kemosabe?

      /Lone Wolf

  3. Anyone with any experience in our legal system knows our courts aren’t about justice. They’re about rules, rules, rules. They care only whether the box was checked. And that’s all they care about.

  4. They will stop at nothing to make certain that those interested in actually reducing the size and scope of government, and therefore their power, are relegated to the hinterlands.

    The political and judicial system are totally and completely corrupt.

    “But we also note that we decide one case at a time, on the record before us. In so doing, we preserve the First Amendment’s primary place in our democracy over the long run.”

    Said the court after giving the 1A a good ass-fucking.

  5. “the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast left-right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against this candidate since the day he announced for governor”, as Hillary Clinton failed to say

  6. It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.
    — Joseph Stalin

    1. It’s not the votes that count, it’s who counts the votes.

  7. Thank god that no corporashuns were able to subvert this pristine election process with their evil hatespeechmoney.

  8. It seems like the First Amendment argument won’t hold much water if he wasn’t making a principled stand against declaring his employer. Shitty, but that’s how I see it coming out.

  9. Hateriotism at its finest. Well done, Michigan’s Basement.

    1. Well done, Michigan’s Basement septic tank.

      Shit flows downhill.

  10. Earl is making an appeal to the Supreme Court, though that won’t yield anything in time for the May 6 primary.

    Especially since the Supremes will probably refuse to hear it.

  11. The three-judge panel acknowledged the decision could present “severe and irreparable harm” on the party and likely undermine its status as a ballot-qualified party in the state.

    Notice they didn’t say that was a bad thing. Feature, not bug.

  12. As an Ohio resident, I vow to punch the next person who says to me “You can’t complain if you don’t vote.”

    1. Apparently, in Ohio, you can’t vote if you don’t complain.

      1. In Ohio, complain votes you.

    2. I vow to blame the next person who says that.

      IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

  13. The Teams really don’t care which one of them wins, as long as nobody else does. And if they can make it happen, they prevent anyone else from even playing.

  14. Yeah as an OH resident I sent an angry letter to some d-bag from Cincy a few months ago about this.

    This is the kind of Santorum loving bullshit that drove me away from the GOP.

  15. “But we also note that we decide one case at a time, on the record before us. In so doing, we preserve the First Amendment’s primary place in our democracy over the long run.”

    So funny, that I forgot to laugh.

  16. I suspect they would have found a different answer if he were a minority color instead of a minority political philosophy.

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