October 1st, 2010
04:34 PM ET
12 years ago

Tea Party-backed candidate loses high court appeal over ballot signatures

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court on Friday turned aside an appeal from an independent congressional candidate affiliated with the conservative Tea Party movement, who demanded Virginia election officials accept signatures on petitions to place his name on the ballot.

Herb Lux of Rapphannock, Virginia, had filed an emergency appeal with Chief Justice John Roberts, arguing that, less than six week before Election Day, he needs a final ruling on whether his name can appear alongside other office-seekers.

At issue is a state law requiring congressional candidates to obtain a minimum number of signatures before appearing on the ballot. The twist is that most of Lux's signatures were invalidated because he himself witnessed them. Normally that is not a problem, but state law says only a resident of the congressional district can collect such nominating petitions himself.

Lux is seeking a seat in the Seventh District - now held by Republican Rep. Eric Cantor - but lives in the adjacent First District. Virginia does not require a candidate for the House of Representatives to live in the district he or she is running.

Federal courts had earlier turned away the lawsuit, filed against three officials with the Virginia Board of Elections.

In a three-page order, Roberts said Lux failed to justify he had enough of a case to be granted an injunction. "It cannot be said that his right to relief is indisputably clear," Roberts wrote. "The application for an injunction is denied."

It is now likely Lux's name will not appear on the ballot.

In his emergency "application" with the court, Lux's attorney - James Bopp, Jr. - said the state law was too restrictive, and unfairly hurts independent, less well-funded candidates like his client.
"The Supreme Court has clearly indicated that under the First Amendment a state may not prohibit large classes of people from circulating petitions absent a compelling reason," Bopp said.

"There is simply no reason for prohibiting Mr. Lux from circulating his own petitions." Bopp heads the James Madison Center for Free Speech, a conservative legal group and law firm.

Lux is a self-described "Constitutionalist," who founded the American Patriots Committee, a statewide group which, according to its Web site, supports "righteous men and women for elected office that understand and will support our Constitution, as it is written and according to its original intent with the meanings of the terms and words as defined at the time of its writing."

He has spoken at several Tea Party-related events.

The grassroots, populist Tea Party movement has gained political momentum this election year through a series of nationwide protests against high taxes and excessive government bureaucracy.
The case is Lux v. Rodrigues (10A298).

Filed under: 2010 • Tea Party movement
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    If the Supreme Court had ruled in this teabagger's favor, my guess is the media would report this as a "victory" for Palin.

    Since the Court turned aside the appeal, it should be reported that this is a resounding defeat for Palin and her loony-right buddies.

    October 1, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. vic, Nashville TN

    Tea party time is over

    October 1, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Debbie from Arizona

    I happy to finally be able to agree with one of our Supreme Courts' decisions.

    October 1, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Listening to the Republicans is like listening to "Chicken Little" running around telling everybody the sky is falling in.

    October 1, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. JohnH

    I'm so tired of my own negativity, yet it's difficult when she comes on the news. Can't we get some intelligent conservatives to stand up, give their opinion, and then we can have reasonable discussions? This woman suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.

    October 1, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Vote Democrats or bend over for Tea PartyGOP!

    The Republicans want Americans to feel the country is sinking. Not true! The stock market best run in September in 70 years, We got Health care, Education and Wall St reform. Folks we move our country off of sand and President Obama and the Democrats set it upon Rock! Those are the fact!

    October 1, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Just listen to what she has to say people. It does not have to be eloquent just sincere."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...You think Jabberwocky Barbie is sincere!?!?!?!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Matt Taibi hit the anil on the head when it compared it to dogs listening to their masters: key buzz words and tone of voice and that's all you need.

    October 1, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Can't we get some intelligent conservatives to stand up, give their opinion, and then we can have reasonable discussions?"

    Unfortunately, no, we can't. However, you should note that the GOP is currently in the phase of the election cycle in which they all pretend to have the soul-searching epiphany that leads them to become the reasonable, rational, thoughtful GOPer what you just dreamed up. Don't be fooled...be amused. Just check out Pence's blather below, which is the same blather we heard from them in November 2008, which is the same blather we heard from them in 1994, etc. etc. Of course, Pence managed to speak in code to get accross the usual message: "Get angry and be afraid! Darky is taking over and the only way to avoid it is for you to vote for us and our economic policies designed to further marginalize the poor and middle-class, and by extensino minorites!!! This was supposed to be a 'white people' country...take it back!"

    October 1, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. LEX

    The Citizen United Supreme Court ruling must be overturn. If companies are to be treated like a person, than they must reveal who and what they are donating to. If a human donate, he must provide his/her name. Under the Citizen United ruling allow campanies not to reveal their names and to who they donate. Companies are treated as an upper class of person, when it come to our political system to donate.

    October 1, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Cat, Holt MO

    The idiot is to stupid to go away, she is so into herself, she thinks everyone loves her. She does not get it, we love to HATE her. She is the worst thing that has ever happened to this wonderful country.
    She is a bigot, a fanatic and the moron of the world. We should be really mad at who ever had the idea of her being smart enough to be second on command. GOD help us all, if that had ever happened. I respected McCain, up to that point and then I realized he was not to smart either. I believe he finished next to last in his class of over 700. Palin finished last place I would bet. My dog finished his class in second place. He is twice as smart as the dipping loon Palin

    October 1, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "It is time that democrats stand up and take credit for their accomplishments over the last 20 months."

    Truth does NOT matter....only perception. The GOP beat them at the perceptions game...again...so they will now suffer. That is the ONLY political lesson you need to learn from this mid-term election and the ONLY analysis worth repeating ad nauseum on the airwaves. The GOP engaged in a massive misinformation demagoguery campaign for approximately 2 straight years and convinced enough people to buy their poppycock nonsense, and RE-BUY their debunked ideological economic nincompoopery, that they're winning the House (altho not the Senate)...all while the Dems YET AGAIN failed to deliver a consistently LOUD ENOUGH and REPETETIVE ENOUGH message, both through rhetoric and action, to overcome the fabrications and fearmongering. So again...TRUTH means nothing when it comes to the second Tuesday of November every other year...only PERCEPTION. Once the Dems and liberals learn that, the GOP better run for the freekin hills.

    October 1, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. No Tea For Me

    What idiots these tea party people are. Stay smart Vote Democrat in 2010.

    October 1, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    like a teabagger and what they think matters.

    October 1, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Bob Inalong

    Vote for Lux Interior, from the Goo Goo Muck Party

    October 1, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Rick CT

    Obama didn't think Roberts was qualified to serve as Chief Justice. I guess upholding the law isn't among Obama's qualifications for a court seat.

    October 1, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Rick CT

    Unemployment was 7.8% when Obama was sworn in. Now 9.6% not counting the million plus people that have completely given. Rock on Obama!!

    October 1, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Limbaugh is a liberal

    I thought conservatives hate it when outsiders try to come in and claim to represent people in places they don't even live. But then again, the Tea Party cares little for rules.

    October 1, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Peter E

    Thank God the SCOTUS doesn't allow this. Imagine if they let this one appeal through. Do you know what would happen? They would immediately be flooded by thousands of such appeals by every nobody from every nowhere who are too illiterate to read election rules before applying for candidacy! 'Oh sorry your honor, I didn't abide by the rules. But can you let me slip in just this time?'
    Sorry, but the SCOTUS has better things to do than turn over every local law for people who want to bypass them. If they let one through, thousands of others will demand it too!

    October 1, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |