District Court: Virginia’s Republican Primary Field Likely to Expand

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    Well, well, well, isn’t this interesting?

    The Court finds that there is a strong likelihood that the Court will find the residency requirement for petition circulators [in Virginia] to be unconstitutional.  The authorities make clear that circulating petitions for candidates is a form of protected speech, and that the Commonwealth has a heavy burden to justify the restriction on speech by  showing not only that the limitation achieves a valid state interest but also that the limitation is no broader in scope than necessary to achieve that purpose…For this reason, the Court believes that the plaintiffs have a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the merits, at least on the issue of the validity of the residency requirement.

    In other words, the Virginia Republican primary ballot will likely have more names on it than just Ron Paul and Willard “Mitt” Romney. On the other hand, Willard should have clinched the nomination long before then, so it won’t really make a difference in this election. As for future elections and other candidates, well that’s a different story.