TIME Congress

Judge: Put John Conyers on the Ballot

John Conyers
Carlos Osorio—AP Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., addresses supporters during the Michigan Democratic election night party in Detroit, Nov. 6, 2012.

The judge overturned election officials' decision that would have denied the long-term Congressman from Detroit a spot on the election ballot after hearing arguments from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan

A federal judge in Michigan ordered that longtime U.S. Representative John Conyers be put on the ballot in August after election officials said he was ineligible because many of his necessary nominating petitions were disqualified.

The officials said the Detroit Democrat could not be on the primary ballot because the people who gathered signatures for him weren’t registered voters or listed a wrong registration address, leaving him more than 400 short of the necessary number of petitions.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman overturned the officials’ decision after civil rights activists and Conyers’ lawyers argued that the law setting requirements for people gathering signatures was unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports. A similar law in Ohio was struck down in federal court in 2008.

Conyers, 85, has been in Congress since 1965 and has consistently won re-election, at times with more than 80 percent of the vote, including in 2012. He is a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus and, if re-elected, would be the longest-serving member of congress.


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