Virginia Lawsuit Against Ban on Out-of-State Circulators Moves Ahead

On May 22, U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney held a status conference in Libertarian Party of Virginia and Darryl Bonner v Charles Judd, 3:12-cv-367. This is the lawsuit filed by the Libertarian Party of Virginia against that state’s ban on out-of-state circulators. All briefs on whether the law is unconstitutional are due June 21, and it is expected that a decision will come by early July. The case is in the Eastern District.

Judge Gibney is the same judge who was assigned to two earlier cases on this same issue, neither of which resolved the issue because in both of the other cases, the plaintiffs withdrew from the case before it was over. In the first of those earlier cases, filed by several Republican presidential primary candidates, Judge Gibney had said the law is almost certainly unconstitutional, but he had not granted injunctive relief because that case had been filed so close to the primary. The second of those earlier cases had been filed by a Democratic candidate for Congress, Bruce Shuttleworth, but he dropped his lawsuit after the Democratic Party of Virginia changed its mind and said he had enough valid signatures, regardless of whether signatures collected by a resident of the District of Columbia were included or not.

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