Lux v. Rodrigues ( 2010 )


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  •                         Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)                              1
    
                                 Opinion in Chambers
    
         NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
         preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to
         notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash
         ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order
         that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
    
    
    SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
                                       _________________
    
                                       No. 10A298
                                       _________________
    
    
       HERB LUX ET AL. v. NANCY RODRIGUES, IN HER
    
       OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE VIRGINIA 
    
                BOARD OF ELECTIONS, ET AL. 
    
                     ON APPLICATION FOR INJUNCTION
                                 [September 30, 2010]
    
      CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS, Circuit Justice.
       Herb Lux has filed with me as Circuit Justice for the
    Fourth Circuit an application for an injunction pending
    appeal. Lux seeks an injunction requiring the Virginia
    State Board of Elections to count signatures that he col
    lected in an effort to place himself on the congressional
    ballot. The application is denied.
       Lux is an independent candidate for the U. S. House of
    Representatives in Virginia’s Seventh Congressional
    District. Under Virginia law, an independent candidate
    for Congress must obtain 1,000 signatures from voters
    registered in the relevant congressional district in order to
    appear on the ballot. Va. Code Ann. §24.2–506 (Lexis
    2010 Cum. Supp.). That same provision requires, among
    other things, that each signature be witnessed by a resi
    dent of that district. Ibid.
      Although Lux is a candidate for the Seventh District, he
    is a resident of Virginia’s First District. As a result, he
    cannot serve as a witness for signatures from Seventh
    District residents. Despite that fact, Lux witnessed 1,063
    of the 1,224 signatures collected on his behalf. The State
    2                    LUX v. RODRIGUES
    
                         Opinion in Chambers
    
    Board of Elections refused to count those signatures. Lux
    unsuccessfully sought an injunction requiring the Board to
    do so from the District Court for the Eastern District of
    Virginia and from the Court of Appeals for the Fourth
    Circuit.
       To obtain injunctive relief from a Circuit Justice, an
    applicant must demonstrate that “the legal rights at issue
    are ‘indisputably clear.’ ” Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
    v. FCC, 
    507 U.S. 1301
    , 1303 (1993) (Rehnquist, C. J., in
    chambers) (quoting Communist Party of Ind. v. Whitcomb,
    
    409 U.S. 1235
     (1972) (Rehnquist, J., in chambers)). A
    Circuit Justice’s issuance of an injunction “does not simply
    suspend judicial alteration of the status quo but grants
    judicial intervention that has been withheld by lower
    courts,” and therefore “demands a significantly higher
    justification” than that required for a stay. Ohio Citizens
    for Responsible Energy, Inc. v. NRC, 
    479 U.S. 1312
    , 1313
    (1986) (SCALIA, J., in chambers).
       Lux does not meet this standard. He may very well be
    correct that the Fourth Circuit precedent relied on by the
    District Court—Libertarian Party of Va. v. Davis, 
    766 F.2d 865
     (1985)—has been undermined by our more
    recent decisions addressing the validity of petition circula
    tion restrictions. See Meyer v. Grant, 
    486 U.S. 414
    , 422,
    428 (1988) (invalidating a law criminalizing circulator
    compensation and describing petition circulation as “core
    political speech”); Buckley v. American Constitutional Law
    Foundation, Inc., 
    525 U.S. 182
    , 186–187 (1999) (holding
    unconstitutional a requirement that initiative petition
    circulators be registered voters). At the same time, we
    were careful in American Constitutional Law Foundation
    to differentiate between registration requirements, which
    were before the Court, and residency requirements, which
    were not. Id., at 197. Lux himself notes that the courts of
    appeals appear to be reaching divergent results in this
    area, at least with respect to the validity of state residency
                    Cite as: 561 U. S. ____ (2010)                  3
    
                        Opinion in Chambers
    
    requirements. Application 13–14. Accordingly, even if the
    reasoning in Meyer and American Constitutional Law
    Foundation does support Lux’s claim, it cannot be said
    that his right to relief is “indisputably clear.”
      The application for an injunction is denied.
    
                                                     It is so ordered.