Supreme Court Order: Gary Johnson May Not Appear on Ohio Ballot as Libertarian

The Supreme Court of the United States has denied an emergency request by Libertarian (LPO) presidential candidate Gary Johnson and running mate Tim Weld to appear on the 2016 Ohio ballot as a Libertarian. Gary Johnson will appear on the ballot as an independent, but not with his party affiliation.

As Ballot Access News reported:

On the evening of August 22, the Ohio Libertarian Party asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put Gary Johnson and Bill Weld on the ballot as Libertarians, rather than putting them on the ballot with no label whatsoever. Libertarian Party of Ohio v Husted. There is no U.S. Supreme Court number yet.

Two days later, an agreement was made between Gary Johnson and Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted to permit Gary Johnson to appear on the ballot, but not under the Libertarian or LPO label:

Husted’s office announced Wednesday that Johnson’s supporters have met the signature requirements.

Libertarians aren’t recognized as a political party in Ohio, so activists sought to collect enough signatures from voters to get Johnson on the ballot by way of a process for independent candidates.

The application to the Court [PDF] accused the Ohio Republican Party of orchestrating a scheme designed to block libertarians from ballot access in this critical swing state both now and in the future for the purpose of helping Republicans.

Republicans believed that LPO’s absence from Ohio’s ballots would increase Republican candidates’ electoral odds in future elections.

Ohio is a battleground state coveted by both major parties. Presently, the Ohio ballot will not include the LPO’s Johnson/Weld presidential ticket in November. The Ohio Republican Party (ORP) successfully orchestrated the removal of LPO from Ohio’s ballot. It did so first by dissolving LPO as a political party by passing a discriminatory ballot access law known as S.B. 193. Next, once it appeared that S.B. 193 would not suffice, ORP orchestrated the removal of LPO’s top-of-the-ticket candidate (Charlie Earl) from Ohio’s 2014 gubernatorial ballot. Without a gubernatorial candidate in 2014, ORP knew, LPO could not meet Ohio’s vote test and would be excluded from future ballots. ORP spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to advance this political espionage. (citation omitted)

Today, the Supreme Court denied relief. Here is the entire order:


Watch the interview of Gary Johnson and Tim Weld from ReasonTV.