U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson will hold a hearing in Libertarian Party of Ohio v Husted, 2:13cv-953, on Thursday, March 13, at 2 p.m. This is the federal case over whether the Libertarian candidates for statewide office should be removed from the Libertarian primary ballot.
The state’s brief, filed on March 11, argues that the state’s interest in having each petition sheet show the identity of the circulator’s employer is to prevent corruption. The obvious question, though, is why the state’s interest in disclosure of campaign spending should not be placed on the candidate, rather than the circulators. If Ohio required the candidate to list his or her expenditures, that alone would satisfy the state interest in disclosure of campaign spending. As far as is known, no other state requires circulators to fill in a blank on each petition sheet identifying the circulator’s employer.
The state also says the law, requiring circulators to list their employers on each petition sheet, is six years old, and the Libertarian Party should have challenged it earlier.