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Rand Paul Tries To Skirt Kentucky Election Law

Sen. Rand Paul is having a devil of a time figuring out how to circumvent Kentucky's law that forbids a candidate to run for two separate positions on the same ballot.
Rand Paul Tries To Skirt Kentucky Election Law

Senator Rand Paul, a sort of libertarian, law and order type conservative is trying to circumvent Kentucky's state that says a candidate can only run for one job on the same ballot. This means that if he does decide to run for President then he has to give up his Senate seat.

But one thing's been hanging over Paul's and his supporters' heads: how does he get around Kentucky law that bars a candidate from running on the same ballot for two different jobs? Paul, after all, has said multiple times he plans to run for re-election in 2016.

Paul could easily decide that he just wants to run for the presidency and not run for re-election. But his lawyers reportedly see a way for Paul not to give up his seat for his presidential run.

Kentucky law specifically says that "no candidate's name shall appear on any voting machine or absentee ballot more than once" with an exception for special elections.

So Paul is faced with a tough decision. He definetly wants to run for the presidency and expand his brand along the way, but he doesn't want to give up his Senate seat in the process.. Most likely he'll do what most conservatives do about laws that have been passed that they don't like. He will take it to the courts and try to get it overturned.

So Paul is left with a few options. Paul's lawyers can file a lawsuit against the Kentucky law saying it's unconstitutional.

"The basis of the lawsuit would be that the U.S. Constitution lists the qualifications for people to run for either U.S. House or Senate and they are either citizens of the United States, resident of the state, and for Senate 30 years of age," University of Kentucky College of Law professor Josh Douglas told TPM. "So the argument here is that saying you can't be a candidate for more than one federal office is an additional qualification so it violates the qualification clause of the U.S. Constitution."

"There are several cases that say that a state has broad ability to dictate who appears on its ballot and also that there's no fundamental right to be a candidate," Douglas said, but warned that the argument, while it has merit, isn't a "slam dunk."

He has several other options available to him him, but none are that optimal.


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