Texas Governor Rick Perry asked a federal appeals court to place his name on the ballot for the Virginia Republican presidential primary or to halt the printing of ballots pending his appeal.
Perry filed his motion today before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Newt Gingrich joined him in an appeal filed yesterday with the same court. The presidential hopefuls are challenging a Virginia rule that says people who gather signatures for a candidate’s petition to appear on the ballot must be eligible to vote in the state.
On Jan. 13, U.S. District Judge John Gibney in Richmond ruled that Perry, Gingrich and two other Republican presidential candidates waited too long to challenge the eligibility requirements for Virginia’s primary ballot. The candidates say the rule violates their rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“The court abused its discretion in determining movant rested on his rights for such a period of time to allow the commonwealth to trample on movant’s First Amendment rights,” Perry said in a filing today.
Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, and Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for the Perry campaign, didn’t immediately respond to e-mail messages today seeking comment on the appeal.
R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The district court case is Perry v. Judd, 3:11-cv-00856, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond). The appeal is Perry v. Judd, 12-1067, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Richmond).
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