Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Gov. Huntsman had also joined on to Perry’s suit as they also had failed to gather enough signatures to make the ballot. Now it appears that only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul will be eligible for Virginia’s 49 delegate votes during that state’s open primary on “super Tuesday” March 6th.
Federal district judge John A. Gibney Jr. explained his ruling by saying that “In essence, they played the game, lost and then complained that the rules were unfair.”
The legal basis for the suit was not the reason Judge Gibney threw it out, instead the judge went on to say that “Had the plaintiffs filed a timely suit, the Court would likely have granted preliminary relief. They are likely to prevail on the constitutionality of the residency requirement, and, had they filed earlier, they would have been able to obtain the requisite 10,000 signatures”
The suit was originally filed as a challenge to Virginia’s strict registration requirements. Specifically, the legal action contends that the requirement that even those that gather the signatures be eligible voters in Virginia is overly restrictive and a violation of the first amendment protection of free speech.