In his opinion, Judge Gibney wrote, “They [the candidates hoping to appear on the ballot] knew the rules in Virginia many months ago; the limitations on circulators affected them as soon as they began to circulate petitions. The plaintiffs could have challenged the Virginia law at that time. Instead, they waited until after the time to gather petitions had ended and they had lost the political battle to be on the ballot; then on the eve of the printing of absentee ballots, they decided to challenge Virginia’s laws.”
The ACLU of Virginia, which supported Perry’s effort, said the judge’s ruling will bring about change in Virginia.
“For the ACLU, the most important part of the decision is the judge’s recognition that the Virginia law violates the right of free speech,” ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis wrote in a statement. “This clearly unconstitutional law will now almost certainly be repealed by the General Assembly or struck down in court. Either way, its end is near.”
I’m not sure I understand why the judge would state that the relevant Virginia law violates the right of free speech and yet still say no. But I guess we’re stuck with the ballot we have.