Ohio Libertarian Party Sues to Retain its Qualified Party Status for 2014

On November 8, only two days after SB 193 was signed into law, the Ohio Libertarian Party sued to retain its qualified status for 2014 that SB 193 had revoked. Technically, the Ohio Libertarian Party did not file an entire new lawsuit; instead it expanded its existing lawsuit that challenges the residency requirement for circulators that had been filed on September 25, 2013. The case is Libertarian Party of Ohio v Husted, 2:13cv-953, southern district.

The party is asking for a preliminary injunction to retain its May 2014 primary. The amended injunction request points out that some of the Libertarian Party candidates had already completed their petitions to be on the Libertarian Party’s primary ballot, and other Libertarians had already started collecting signatures to be on the primary ballot. The injunction also points out that in Ohio, parties acquire members by having their own primary. Ohio registration forms don’t ask individuals to choose a party. The only party membership list any party ever has in Ohio is the list of voters who choose to vote in that party’s primary.

The case is in front of U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Wilson, a Bush Jr. appointee. SB 193 passed with no urgency clause, so it doesn’t go into effect until February 5, 2014. UPDATE: here is a newspaper story about the lawsuit from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Here is another story about it, in the Columbus Dispatch.


Ohio Libertarian Party Sues to Retain its Qualified Party Status for 2014 — 9 Comments

  1. Best wishes and good luck to the OLP. A win for them is a win for all third parties.

  2. An interesting claim is that based on their interpretation of Gottleib v Sulligan, and the Ohio Constitution, party nominations must be made by primary. In the past Richard Winger has argued that Ohio could (or should) permit minor parties to nominate by convention.

    Ohio could permit a quite modest showing of support in order for a party to qualify to participate in the primary, and then require support for the nomination by the party to be demonstrated by the nominees (similar to the system used by Washington under the blanket primary). Since a voter becomes a party member by voting in the primary, this would a simple way to ensure sufficient party membership, without having party registration.

    Though it would still be simpler to adopt Top 2.

    By the way, have any of the parties filed a plan for electing party officers in the primary (left intact by SB 193 in 3517.03)

  3. Although I advocate that small qualified parties nominate by convention, I always expressed the opinion to Ohio officials that they should alter their state constitution. I agree with Mark Brown that the existing state constitution doesn’t permit SB 193. What happens if two candidates from the same minor party both submit candidate petitions? How are election officials supposed to know which one to print on the November ballot? The law does not authorize party conventions to choose one.

  4. Too many MORON ballot access lawyers and judges to count since 1968.

    Each election is NEW — regardless of such MORONS.

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

  5. Logically, you are right. Canada and Great Britain ballot access has nothing to do with the results of any previous election. But the tradition in the United States that the rights of political parties depend on how well they did in a previous election is very strongly embedded.

  6. Does the amazing BAN database show what year that the robot party hacks added the previous election results stuff ???

    Obviously before 1888-1890 (official primaries), there were all sorts of minor parties coming and going.

    How about 1854 ?? — formation of the Elephant party.

  7. The very first two states to create government-printed ballots for state and federal office were Massachusetts in 1888 and Indiana in 1889. Right from the start the laws classed groups by whether they had polled a certain vote in the previous election. Massachusetts defined a party as a group that had polled 3% in the last election (although other groups could get on with no petition). Indiana defined a party as a group that had polled 1% in the last election, and all others needed 500 signatures.

  8. Hmmm. Thus brain dead lawyers and courts a mere 20 years after the 14th Amdt — EQUAL protection clause — with a mere 80 more years until the *modern* stuff in 1968.

    Too many MORON lawyers and judges to count since 1868 / 1888.

  9. The legislators were self-dealing, and also producing ballots for elections in which many offices were on the same ballot. In essence, the government-printed ballots were groups of private-printed ballots stitched together.

    The primaries were an attempt to get elections back into the hands of the voters. In California non-partisan primaries were soon adopted for most offices, just a couple of years after the partisan primary.

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