Libertarian Party Files Emergency #SCOTUS Motion to Get Johnson/Weld on Ohio Ballot as Libertarians

Via Chris Geidner, comes this emergency motion to get the Johnson/Weld ticket on the Ohio ballot listed as Libertarians. (It is uncertain if Johnson/Weld might make it on the ballot as independent candidates without a party label should this petition be denied. FN 7 of the motion explains: “Ohio law provides a separate procedure (which is not being challenged here) for independent presidential tickets. The Johnson/Weld campaign (after being denied recognized LPO status) on August 10, 2016 submitted the papers and signatures needed to qualify as an independent presidential ticket in Ohio. Certification of independent candidacies is expected the week of August 22, 2016. Assuming Johnson/Weld were to be certified as an independent ticket and survive official protests, it (unlike the established parties’ presidential tickets) will still not represent LPO as a political party, will not be listed as the “Libertarian” ticket on Ohio’s ballot, and cannot meet Ohio’s 3% vote test on behalf of LPO in order to win for it qualified political party status in Ohio in future elections.”)

This is a serious petition raising a substantial issue. It would not be the first time that the Supreme Court has considered ballot access for the presidential election. But it is uncertain to me what the Court will do in this case, especially given that ballots need to be printed in one week (August 30) according to the petition. Perhaps the results will turn on what the state announces about whether the Johnson/Weld ticket qualifies independently, though I can see this argument cutting either way.

Also unclear to me whether Trump or Clinton would benefit more from having the Libertarians on the ballot. It could be that the issue is so uncertain both parties will want the Libertarians off the ballot.

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