On September 14, the 6th Circuit voted 2-1 to keep Greg Jolivette off the ballot. He wants to be an independent candidate for the Ohio State House, 51st district. The decision is Jolivette v Husted, 12-3998. On September 17, Jolivette asked for a rehearing en banc.
Ohio statutes ban “sore losers” but Jolivette did not run in any primary this year, nor did he vote in any primary this year. But the Secretary of State still kept him off the ballot, even though his petition had enough valid signatures, because he had associated with the Republican Party last year. Specifically, he had petitioned to be on the 2012 Republican primary ballot, but had then withdrawn and did not appear on the primary ballot.
Jolivette argued that the Ohio law, if it really should be construed to keep him off the ballot, is too vague. The Sixth Circuit majority said he can’t raise that issue now because he didn’t clearly raise it in the U.S. District Court. The opinion is by Judge Karen Nelson Moore, a Clinton appointee, and also signed by Judge David McKeague, a Bush Jr. appointee. The dissenter is Judge Gilbert Merritt, a Carter appointee. The dissent says the Secretary of State has “indentured” Jolivette to the Republican Party, and that the Secretary of State is always free to try to persuade Jolivette to remain a Republican but the Secretary of State should not be allowed to prevent Jolivette from changing his partisan associations.