Will Sen. Rand Paul run for president, re-election to the Senate, or both? That last option —both — is unavailable to Paul based on a Kentucky law that forbids candidates from appearing on the ballot for more than one office. Kentucky should repeal that law and allow the voters to decide Paul’s fate. This weekend Paul will ask the Kentucky Republican Party to change the presidential nominating process to a caucus, avoiding the need to appear on a primary ballot for both president and Senate. But this plan simply kicks the issue to the future: If Paul wins both the presidential nomination and the Kentucky Senate primary, then he would be the nominee for two offices — even though Kentucky law forbids him from appearing on the general election ballot for both. Moreover, Paul should not have to jump through these hoops to let the voters decide his fate.
As an alternative, Paul may take the issue to court, arguing that the long-standing Kentucky law prohibiting multiple candidacies is unconstitutional. His best argument is that Kentucky is adding a “qualification” to hold office beyond what the U.S. Constitution allows. The Constitution states that to be a U.S. senator, the person must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the state on Election Day, and at least 30 years old. Paul would claim that “not appearing twice on the ballot” is an additional qualification that goes beyond these requirements.
But, although it is a close case, that argument is likely to lose. The Supreme Court has given wide deference to states in their ballot access requirements, ruling that there is no fundamental right to be a candidate and that a state may require a candidate to resign from one office before the individual can run for another one.
Full Article: Kentucky should let Rand run.