On March 25, the Fourth Circuit refused to reconsider Pisano v Strach, the case that challenges the North Carolina petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. The Fourth Circuit had upheld that deadline on February 27. The request for reconsideration pointed out that neither the U.S. District Court, nor the original Fourth Circuit opinion, had let the parties conduct discovery. The purpose of the discovery would have been to show that the state doesn’t really need a May petition deadline in order to check all the signatures in time for the November election. It seems obvious that the state doesn’t need that much time, because it has a June deadline (almost a month later) for independent candidate petitions, and they require just as many signatures if they are for a statewide independent. Also in 1988 the North Carolina Board of Elections let the New Alliance Party submit its petitions in July, without any apparent difficulty. Also in 2004, the state set a July deadline for all independent candidate petitions.
Given the bad weather in the southeastern states this winter, it is difficult to understand how any rational person thinks it is constitutional to force newly-qualifying parties to obtain almost 90,000 valid signatures in the winter and early spring.