Stein v. AL Secretary of State, No. 13-15556 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that Alabama's ballot access statute violates their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The court concluded that the district court properly granted summary judgment to the Secretary and adopted much of the district court's reasoning contained in its memorandum opinion and order. The court held that plaintiffs' constitutional claims failed where plaintiffs did not present evidence showing that the legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the State's restrictions on petition-based ballot access unconstitutionally burdens their associational rights. Rather, the burden on plaintiffs was slight, and the State's interests in treating all political parties fairly and in setting a deadline that provides sufficient time to verify the petition signatures outweigh the burden to plaintiffs' associational rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment.