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A Campaign Manager’s Suit to Get His Candidate on the Ballot

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
November 4, 2013
Available Online Only

Woodard v. Allegheny County Board of Elections (Nora Barry Fischer, W.D. Pa. 2:12-cv-535)
The campaign manager for a special-election candidate for the state legislature filed a pro se federal complaint seeking relief from the disqualification of the candidate’s ballot petition signatures. At 4:00 p.m. on the day that the complaint was filed, the district judge conducted a 45-minute telephonic hearing. The judge dismissed the complaint because of the plaintiff’s lack of standing to pursue his candidate’s case and because the case sought relief from disappointing rulings already issued by the commonwealth’s courts in contravention of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which states that among federal courts only the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over state court proceedings.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; matters for state courts.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.