On July 24, the Sixth Circuit heard forty minutes of oral argument in Libertarian Party of Ohio v Husted, 11-4066, the ballot access case won by the Libertarian Party in 2011. The Ohio Secretary of State had not appealed, but the Ohio legislature then intervened and did appeal. The issue had been the constitutionality of the February 2012 petition deadline for new parties, a deadline that no longer exists because of actions taken by the legislature during 2012. The statutory deadline for a newly-qualifying party is again in November of the year before the election (in presidential years), the same deadline that was struck down in the Sixth Circuit in 2006.
The three judges seemed to think the case is moot, and the only real suspense seems to be whether the Sixth Circuit lets the 2011 decision of the U.S. District Court stand, or whether the Sixth Circuit vacates it, which means it is as though the decision never existed. Practically speaking, the Libertarian Party will not be removed from the November 2012 ballot in any event. Of course it would be better if the U.S. District Court decision is allowed to continue to exist as a precedent.
Seventeen people were in the audience.