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Ohio federal court rules against Nader because of fraud

AP reports: A federal judge refused Tuesday to place independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the Ohio ballot, citing fraud by signature collectors.

U.S. Judge Edmund Sargus ruled against Nader in deciding that the fraud outweighed the constitutional issues Nader raised.

In his opinion, Sargus agreed with Nader that a state law requiring collectors to be registered Ohio voters and state residents is a constitutional violation of free speech rights.

But he wrote, "Regardless of how the Court would resolve the question of whether a state law requiring circulators to be state residents is constitutional, the fact remains that the signatures would be excluded on the grounds of several forms of fraud on the part of the circulators." -- Judge refuses to order Nader's name placed on Ohio ballot (AP via TheState.com)


This opinion of US Dictrict Court Judge Edmund Sargus (a Clinton appointee) is
available at http://www.andrewhyman.com/nader.pdf This decision seems really messed up, and may be appealed to the 6th Circuit.

Judge Sargus said that there was fraud because some petition circulators wrote down a "residence" that was not their out-of-state address. However, the 6th Circuit explained (in Eastman v. Univ. of Michigan, 30 F3d 670) that a person can have several different residences, and that a residence is different from a domicile. It seems absurd to suppose that these particular petition circulators committed fraud by merely reporting a local or temporary residence instead of reporting their domicile. On top of this, Judge Sargus accused the plaintiffs of "unclean hands," but that doctrine only applies to wrongdoing by a "party"
and not by people with whom the party may have done business (e.g. see Keystone Driller v. General Excavator, 290 US 245).