Leaving the political affiliations of judicial candidates off the general election ballot in Ohio is constitutionally sound, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, according to The Toledo Blade.
“The burden on the plaintiffs’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights is minimal because political parties and judicial candidates remain free to provide, and voters remain free to receive, a plethora of information regarding whether a given candidate affiliates with or is endorsed by a particular political party,” U.S. Circuit Judge John Rogers said for a three-judge panel, according to Courthouse News Service.
The legal challenge was lodged initially by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Ohio Democratic Party and three Democratic candidates for judgeships (see Gavel Grab). A lower-court judge had ruled in favor of the state, and the appellate panel affirmed the lower-court ruling.
Under Ohio law, judicial candidates run in partisan primaries, but in the general election they are required to appear on ballots without party labels. You can read the appellate court’s ruling by clicking here, thanks to Election Law Blog.