Saturday, January 14, 2012

4 GOP Candidates Lose Case on Virginia's Primary Rules

I mentioned in a Wrap-Up previously that four of the Republicans seeking the GOP nomination had mounted a legal challenge against some of Virginia's ballot rules for commonwealth's primary (which will be held on March 6). Subsequently, a judge ordered a hold on absentee ballots because of what the court may have ruled. The ruling finally came down from a federal court as reported by CNNs Bill Mears:

A federal judge on Friday ruled against four Republican presidential candidates seeking a spot on Virginia's March 6 primary ballot, saying they waited too long to file their claims.

Left off the ballot are Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

The four candidates challenged the state's residency requirements for those seeking to circulate ballot petitions, but Judge John Gibney ruled against the challenge.

The four candidates "knew the rules in Virginia many months ago," the judge wrote in his ruling. "In essence, they played the game, lost, and then complained that the rules were unfair."

Gibney, a 2010 appointee to the federal bench in Richmond by President Barack Obama, said his ruling denied the candidates' motion for a preliminary injunction.

"The plaintiffs have waited too long to file, and the doctrine of laches bars their claim," Gibney wrote.

"The Commonwealth is far along in the electoral process. The primary election is so close that the plaintiffs cannot gather the requisite signatures to get on the ballot. To place the plaintiffs on the ballot would deprive Virginia of its rights not only to conduct the primary in an orderly way but also to insist that a candidate show broad support," the judge wrote.

Two other candidates did qualify for the GOP primary: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas...

You can read the article in its entirety HERE.  It should also be noted that Virginia ballot does not have a write-in option (which Newt Gingrich was patently unaware of given a previous statement).

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