Federal Judge: Ohio 3rd-Party Ballot Rules Constitutional

Mar 16, 2015

A federal judge issues another setback for minor party candidates.
Credit Libertarian Party of Ohio

  A federal judge says ballot access limits imposed last year on minor parties in political battleground Ohio don’t violate the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson’s decision Monday is the latest blow to challengers of a 2013 law that set new, stiffer criteria for minor political parties to qualify for and maintain access to Ohio’s ballot.

Watson said a side party in the case, the American Civil Liberties Union, couldn’t demonstrate that denying access to primary ballots poses a severe burden on third parties without “compelling state interest.”

The decision came an ongoing lawsuit the Libertarian Party of Ohio brought against what detractors called the “John Kasich Re-Election Protection Act” for its potential to help the Republican governor fend off a tea party challenger last year.