Perry v. Judd et al

Filing 73

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. on 1/13/12. (wtuc)

FILED IN OPEN COURT IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JAN -| 3 2012 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA CLERK, U.S. DISTRICTCOURT Richmond Division RICHMOND, VA THE HONORABLE RICK PERRY, Plaintiff, and THE HONORABLE NEWT GINGRICH, THE HONORABLE JON HUNTSMAN, JR., and THE HONORABLE RICK SANTORUM, Intervenors, v- Civil Action No. 3:11-CV-856-JAG CHARLES JUDD, Member of the Virginia State Board of Elections, in his official capacity, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION This matter is before the Court on the plaintiff and intervenor-plaintiffs' (collectively, the "plaintiffs") motion for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs are candidates seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Under Virginia law, they failed to obtain the required number of petition signatures to place their names on the ballot for the Republican primary election. Now, they ask the Court for a preliminary injunction ordering that they be listed on the ballot. The plaintiffs argue that Virginia's rules limiting who can circulate candidate petitions and requiring 10,000 signatures violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The equitable doctrine of laches bars the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction. Theyknew the rules in Virginia many months ago; the limitations on circulators affected them as