U.S. Supreme Court rules against independent Virginia congressional candidate
An independent congressional candidate hoping to challenge Rep. Eric Cantor (R) in Virginia's 7th district has been foiled by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday denied candidate Herb Lux's application for an injunction that would require the state board of elections to count the signatures he collected to get on the November ballot. The board has refused to do so because most of the signatures he gathered were invalidated, under a state law requiring signatures from a particular district to be witnessed by a resident of that district.
"Although Lux is a candidate for the Seventh District, he is a resident of Virginia's First District," Roberts wrote. "As a result, he can not serve as a witness for signatures from Seventh District residents."
Lux has appealed the board of elections' decision already, but complained that the election will be over by the time his appeals are heard. Virginia law requires candidates to obtain 1,000 valid signatures in order to get on the ballot.
James Bopp Jr., Lux's attorney and general counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech, said when he asked for the injunction that the issue was one of basic fairness.
"The Supreme Court has clearly indicated that under the First Amendment a state may not prohibit large classes of people from circulating petitions absent a compelling reason. There is simply no reason for prohibiting Mr. Lux from circulating his own petitions," Bopp said.
When Lux announced his run, he told the Culpeper Star-Exponent that he was entering the race because "Mr. Cantor is not supporting the Constitution full-time." Cantor is considered the prohibitive favorite to win reelection in November against Democrat Rick Waugh
| September 30, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Eric Cantor
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