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BREAKING: Judge rules against Rick Perry

This news coming in from POLITICO — Rick Perry’s last-minute bid to get on the Virginia primary ballot is given the Heisman treatment [1]:

The decision means Perry, as well as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, will not appear on the ballot in the state’s March 6 primary.

Perry and Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot late last month after filing their signatures with the Virginia State Board of Elections, when the state GOP determined that neither candidate had enough valid signatures to meet the requirements. Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified to appear on the ballot with the required number of signatures: Huntsman and Santorum did not file at all.

Virginia requires 10,000 signatures from registered voters, including at least 400 signatures from each of the state’s congressional districts. The requirements are some of the most stringent in the country.

You can read the full opinion here [2]. ┬áIn essence, the court did not necessarily rule on the validity of Virginia’s primary access rules (and in fact, reinforced Virginia’s interest in ensuring that primary candidates had a broad base of support), but did slam Perry rather forcefully on the late timing of the lawsuit — namely, after Perry failed to get on the ballot — which demonstrated more of a last minute plea rather than a serious constitutional concern.

This decision confirms Mitt Romney and Ron Paul as the only two candidates on the GOP ballot on March 6th.