State Residency Requirement for Petition Circulators, Libertarian Party of Virginia v. Judd. 

In order for a third-party candidate to appear on the presidential ballot, he must gather 10,000 signatures from registered Virginia voters, with at least 400 from each congressional district.  The signatures must all be witnessed by a Virginia resident.  On May 14, 2012 we filed suit to challenge this provision on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Virginia and an out-of-state petition circulator.  The judge ordered the parties to conduct expedited discovery and to file motions for summary judgment by June 21, 2012.  On July 30, 2012, the judge struck down Virginia's law imposing a state residency requirement on persons who petition for third-party presidential candidates to appear on the general election ballot stating that the statute violates the First Amendment.  The state has appealed.  In September, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state’s request to keep the statute in effect pending appeal.  The state filed its opening brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and our response was filed on November 9, 2012.  Argument took place on March 22, 2013.  On May 29, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court's decision, holding the statue unconstitutional. On August 16, 2013, the Virginia Attorney General filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. On December 2, 2013, the Supreme Court denied the state’s cert petition. On January 7, 2014, the district court entered an agreed order awarding us $36,000 in attorney’s fees and costs.

Court Documents (click link to view .pdf)
Complaint - U.S. District Court, Richmond
Memo in Support of Preliminary Injunction - U.S. District Court, Richmond
Motion for Summary Judgment - U.S. District Court, Richmond
Opinion - U.S. District Court, Richmond
Response Brief- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit


Katie O’Connor, ACLU Voting Rights Project, Rebecca Glenberg, ACLU of Virginia

Date filed

May 14, 2012


U.S. District Court, Richmond