On May 29, the 4th circuit agreed with the U.S. District Court that residency requirements for circulators are unconstitutional. The lawsuit concerned out-of-state circulators. The case is Libertarian Party of Virginia v Judd, 12-1996. Here is a copy of the 16-page decision. Virginia had vigorously argued that the plaintiff petitioner Darryl Bonner lacked standing, but the judges found that he did have standing. The state said since he injured his knee, he couldn’t have petitioned anyway, but the judges said he could have petitioned while sitting down, and pointed out that Bonner was able to attend his own deposition, notwithstanding the knee problem.
This is the first time a minor party has won a constitutional election law case in the Fourth Circuit since 1989 and 1988, when the Socialist Workers Party won two cases. The 1989 decision struck down Maryland’s filing fee for declared write-in candidates and was called Dixon v Maryland State Administrative Board of Election Laws. The 1988 decision struck down West Virginia’s mandatory language for independent and minor party candidate petitions, which said the signer intends to vote for the candidates listed on the petition; that was called Socialist Workers Party v Hechler. The Fourth Circuit consists of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. UPDATE: here is a lengthy AP news story about the decision.