FOURTH CIRCUIT REFUSES EMERGENCY BALLOT INJUNCTION
[Posted January 17, 2012] A panel of the Fourth Circuit has issued a 22-page unpublished order, refusing to issue an injunction as requested by Texas Governor Rick Perry to have his name placed on the Virginia Republican primary ballot. The caption of the order in Perry v. Judd mentions the other three men who joined the suit Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and former candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr. but only Perry specifically asked for the emergency relief; Gingrich indicated to the court that he supported Perrys request.
The district court had found last week that no temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction could issue because of the equitable defense of laches. Specifically, Judge John Gibney in
But laches comprises two components, and the court still has to consider the district courts finding that the respondents, members of the State Board of Elections, were prejudiced by the delay. The court affirms this ruling as well, noting the substantial effort that must go into the process of preparing, reviewing, approving, printing, and mailing ballots. The deadline for mailing out absentee ballots to servicemembers overseas, under federal law, is January 21. Go check your calendar thats four days from now. The appellate panel has little trouble agreeing that the Board would be prejudiced as a result of the delay.
The district court had also expressed an opinion on the underlying merits of the challenge, in order to ensure the opportunity for a full appellate review. He opined that one element of the
Todays panel consists of Judge Wilkinson and Judge Agee, both of Virginia, and Judge Diaz of