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U.S. Supreme Court rules against independent Virginia congressional candidate

Ben Pershing

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

By Ben Pershing  | September 30, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races, Ben Pershing, Election 2010, Eric Cantor  
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Comments

I take exception with the characterization that Cantor is unbeatable. There is a vibrant and active campaign being run in Virginia's 7th District. I invite you to come down any time and speak with one of the several county committees that are working around the clock on behalf of Rick Waugh. He appears to be way ahead of candidates who ran against Cantor in previous elections. You can have a chance to speak with Rick Waugh at an event that the Culpeper County Democratic Committee is holding on Tuesday, October 5, at Dee Dee's Restaurant in Culpeper.
Please post a comment here if you would like to attend, and I will send my email address so you can get details.

Posted by: lileonore | September 30, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"I take exception with the characterization that Cantor is unbeatable."

He's not unbeatable, but the system that holds him in place just may well be the Lock-Tite of politics.

America's unbelievably stupid balloting system.

Posted by: NancyNaive | October 1, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. Herb Lux can run for the 7th District seat even though he lives just outside the 7th District boundary.

But he can't circulate petitions for himself in the 7th district.

No, it doesn't seem fair.

Of course,it is perfectly legal that all but 2 of the top 50 contributors to Cantor are from way outside the 7th, some outside the US borders.

That doesn't seem fair either.

Posted by: rjma1 | October 1, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I am extremely disappointed in the Post's coverage of the race in Virginia's 7th Congressional District. Considering that Eric "Doctor No" Cantor is the House Republican Whip, and one who wields considerable clout with the mainstream media, the cable networks and the blogosphere, it is simply amazing that a search of the Post's archives results in his opponent, Rick Waugh, only being mentioned once since the beginning of the year and that merely a brief mention in today's article: "Cantor is considered the prohibitive favorite to win reelection in November against Democrat Rick Waugh."

Democrats in the 7th District have made amazing progress in organizing to turn out the vote. Cantor refuses to participate in any debates with either of his candidates. He has a terrible record of actually supporting his constituents or responding to their concerns, but avidly pursues corporate and Wall Street campaign contributions for himself, mostly from outside Virginia. He is even making campaign contributions to Republican candidates in OTHER Virginia districts, since he is so convinced that he is divinely entitled to his seat in the Congress, and has nothing to worry about.

His arrogance, self-righteousness and quest for fame are simply stunning, as anyone who watches TV can witness for him or herself. I sincerely hope that the Post's reporting and editorial staff, as well as the bloggers represented here, will get to work to give the public something to think about. There is no apathy or enthusiasm gap here in the 7th District, especially with only one month left until the election. Please do your duty. Thank you.

Posted by: trpablkhrs@aol.com | October 1, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if Ben Pershing (writer) would respect his readers and mention ALL of the candidates that HAVE applied on the ballot for the 7th District. It is a shame that Mr. Pershing purposely ignored the ONLY Conservative in the district Floyd Bayne, when his name has been floating around the radio plenty of times along with some TV coverage and quite a few mentions in the news columns such as Richmond Times Dispatch and Culpepper Star Exponent. If you do NOT know about Floyd Bayne, find out more about his campaign at http://floydbayne.com

Posted by: igorprohorov1986 | October 2, 2010 1:59 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice if Ben Pershing (writer) would respect his readers and mention ALL of the candidates that HAVE applied on the ballot for the 7th District. It is a shame that Mr. Pershing purposely ignored the ONLY Conservative in the district Floyd Bayne, when his name has been floating around the radio plenty of times along with some TV coverage and quite a few mentions in the news columns such as Richmond Times Dispatch and Culpepper Star Exponent. If you do NOT know about Floyd Bayne, find out more about his campaign at http://floydbayne.com

Posted by: igorprohorov1986 | October 2, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

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