Rejecting an appeal from the Ohio Libertarian Party, the U.S. Supreme Court appears to have put an end to a three-year legal battle over whether elected officials in the state conspired to keep two Libertarian candidates off the 2014 statewide ballot. Without comment Monday, the justices upheld a decision last year by both a federal appeals court in Cincinnati and a federal judge in Columbus that Gov. John Kasich and Secretary of State Jon Husted did not violate the U.S. Constitution when they removed Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl and attorney-general candidate Steven Linnabary from the ballot. Joshua Eck, a Husted spokesman, said “once again, the court has clearly stated that the secretary is properly enforcing Ohio law. There is a clear path for establishing a political party in this state, which has been endorsed by the courts multiple times and even successfully utilized by other political groups.”
Eck said that if the Libertarians had “just followed the rules years ago, they would have likely already achieved their goal of being recognized as a party.”
Husted disqualified the two Libertarians because they did not file the minimum of 500 valid signatures needed to qualify for the general-election ballot. In particular, Husted contended that the people paid to circulate the petitions did not disclose their employers on the petition.