Ohio Supreme Court Won’t Rehear Libertarian Party Ballot Access Case


Ballot Access News:

On April 19, the Ohio Supreme Court refused to rehear State ex rel Fockler v Husted, 2016-1863, one of the Libertarian Party’s ballot access cases. This case involved whether the Gary Johnson vote in November 2016 created a new ballot-qualified party. The request for reconsideration had been pending since January 2017.

The court made no comment, except to say the request is denied. The effect of this three-month wait for a response from the court has been very bad for the Ohio Libertarian Party. It made it more difficult for the party to raise the funds to pay for the 2018 petition, because donors were hesitant to donate because there was some hope that the Supreme Court would grant reconsideration. The Libertarian Party, and any other group that wishes to be a qualified party in 2018, needs 54,965 valid signatures by July 2018. The Green Party is already on the ballot for 2018 because it polled more than 2% for Governor in 2014. Libertarians were on the ballot in 2014, but not for Governor.

The Libertarian Party 2018 petition for 2018 does have approximately 20,000 signatures so far. The Libertarian Party also has a case pending in the Ohio State Court of Appeals as to whether the 2013 ballot access law violates the Ohio Constitution. The Ohio Constitution appears to mandate primaries for all parties, but the 2013 law says newly-qualifying parties are not provided with a primary.

3 thoughts on “Ohio Supreme Court Won’t Rehear Libertarian Party Ballot Access Case

  1. Jim Polichak from Long Island

    This case was a long shot from the start. If a law says you need to do X to get Y you have to do X to get Y.
    In this case it’s ballot access,
    How about if the state asked the judge to apply the same penalty for vehicular homicide to reckless driving because the results could have been the same?

  2. paulie

    Except that the law says that a group of electors can form a party even if they did not announce it before the election, and it has been applied that way at least twice in the past.

  3. Richard Winger

    Paulie is right. Furthermore the Ohio Supreme Court has said many times in the past then when a law is ambiguous, the law should be interpreted to expand voting rights, not shrink them. The Ohio Supreme Court did a terrible job on this case.

    In both 1912 and 1996, a group that was not a ballot-qualified party in Ohio before the election became a ballot-qualified party on election day as a result of polling a big vote. The Ohio Supreme Court got around this by claiming they don’t know if it’s true or not. The evidence was put in front of them in a supplemental affidavit but they said it was filed too late and wouldn’t put it in the record.

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