Perry Sues to Get On Va. Ballot

Federal court challenge calls signature rules unconstitutional

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 27, 2011 11:31 PM CST | Updated Dec 28, 2011 5:32 AM CST

(Newser) – Rick Perry is taking Virginia to court over the ballot rules that have kept him and Newt Gingrich off the ballot for the state's March 6 primary. Virginia's requirement for candidates to gather 10,000 signatures is "unrealistic and onerous," says his campaign communications director. Perry's challenge in federal court claims that the rules "unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot."

Federal courts have struck down similar requirements in other states, but experts believe that Perry's challenge is unlikely to succeed, especially since he did not file it until after he missed Virginia's deadline. "For a candidate who wrote an entire book about 10th Amendment rights, asking federal judges to intervene is an odd move," notes Emily Schultheis at Politico.

Rick Perry gestures during a speech before a Virginia Republican fundraising event in Richmond, Virginia earlier this year.
Rick Perry gestures during a speech before a Virginia Republican fundraising event in Richmond, Virginia earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election. - Ray Sullivan, Perry's
campaign communications director

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