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Arizona Libertarian Party v. Reagan
United States District Court for the District of Arizona
189 F. Supp.3d 920 (2016)
Effective July 3, 2015, Arizona changed its laws specifying who could sign petitions and the number of signatures required to nominate a candidate for a primary election. The new law meant the Arizona Libertarian Party (AZLP) (coplaintiff) had to obtain a disproportionately large number of signatures to get its chairman, Michael Kielsky (coplaintiff), on the ballot. In August 2015, Kielsky told the election director that the AZLP planned to challenge the law’s constitutionality. But the party waited to file suit against Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (defendant) until April 12, 2016. On May 12, 2016, less than three weeks before the June 1 nomination-petition deadline, the party filed an emergency motion requesting that the court enjoin enforcing the new law and put Kielsky on the ballot if the AZLP obtained the number of signatures required before the amendment. Reagan raised the defense of laches, arguing that the delay was unreasonable and prejudiced her ability to consider and develop a defense. Kielsky countered that Reagan’s not releasing 2016 petition signature requirements until March 21, 2016, was unreasonable and justified the delay.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, J.)
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