Court Rejects Challenge to Ohio Law on Judicial Ballots

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CINCINNATI (AP) – A federal court has rejected a challenge to Ohio law excluding political-party labels from judicial candidates’ general-election ballots.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling granting Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. The Democratic Party, some individual candidates for state judgeships in 2010 and a labor organization sued, arguing the law violates constitutional rights to freedom of expression and association.

The appeals court found the law doesn’t place a severe burden on those constitutional rights and any “minimal” burden is justified by the state’s interest in minimizing partisanship in judicial races.

A message left Thursday for attorneys representing the plaintiffs wasn’t immediately returned.

Judicial candidates are allowed to list their political party affiliations on primary ballots.