Rick Perry crosses the Rubicon:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry today filed suit in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia challenging the constitutional validity of the Virginia statute which regulates access to the ballot by presidential candidates and limits the rights of voters to vote for the candidate of their choice. To review the filing, please visit http://www.rickperry.org/content/uploads/2011/12/Perry-VA-Ballot-Access.pdf.
Virginia’s ballot access requirements are among the most onerous in the nation and severely restrict who may obtain petition signatures.
“Gov. Perry greatly respects the citizens and history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and believes Virginia Republicans should have greater access to vote for one of the several candidates for President of the United States,” said Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan.
“Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election. We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot, and we hope to have those provisions overturned or modified to provide greater ballot access to Virginia voters and the candidates seeking to earn their support.”
Of course, Virginia’s rules have been in place for over 50 years… so Perry will be hard pressed to demonstrate that his disqualification was on form rather than on substance. Still, this does make things rather interesting heading down the road (not to mention Perry’s response was a much more disciplined response than Gingrich’s three-day temper tantrum).
UPDATE: Briefly… anyone want to check out para. 18? Only 6,000 qualified signatures? Sounds a lot less than 10,000…