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Case Name Faulkner v. Virginia Department of Elections VR-VA-0066
Docket / Court 20-1456 ( State Court )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: On March 23 a Republican running for U.S. Senate sought to enjoin the defendants from enforcing the candidate signature requirement for the U.S. Senate candidates. Two days later, the court granted the motion for preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants to allow the ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: On March 23 a Republican running for U.S. Senate sought to enjoin the defendants from enforcing the candidate signature requirement for the U.S. Senate candidates. Two days later, the court granted the motion for preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants to allow the qualification of the candidates for the 2020 primary election to be 3,500 signatures for the state of Virginia and 100 signatures in each district. Despite this, the candidate did not qualify for the primary.


On March 23, Omari Faulkner, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate and his campaign committee filed this lawsuit in Virginia state court. Represented by private attorneys, the plaintiffs sued the Virginia Department of Elections, the Virginia State Board of Elections, and the Republican Party of Virginia, seeking to enjoin the defendants from enforcing the candidate signature requirement for the U.S. Senate candidates. The normal requirement for a candidate to qualify for the primary ballot is 10,000 signatures. The plaintiffs, had been unable to obtain the necessary signatures required due to the COVID-19 emergency and lockdown and claimed that they were unlikely to be able to do so in the future before the deadline, which was March 26, 2020.

They brought the lawsuit as a declaratory and injunctive action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that enforcing the signature requirement would be against the First and Fourteenth Amendments. They sought declaratory and permanent and preliminary injunctive relief to reduce the signature requirement down to 3500, a number which Faulkner claimed he would able to obtain.

On March 25, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants to allow the qualification of the candidates for the 2020 primary election to be 3,500 signatures for the state of Virginia and 100 signatures in each district. Despite this order, Faulkner did not qualify for the primary.

The case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 06/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Voting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Candidate qualifications
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) The Republican Party of Virginia
Virginia Department of Elections
Virginia State Board of Elections
Plaintiff Description A Virginia Republican primary candidate and his campaign committee
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 03/23/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Verified Complaint
VR-VA-0066-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/23/2020
Source: State Court Website
Order
VR-VA-0066-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/25/2020
Source: State Court Website
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Judges Marchant, W. Reilly Court not on record show/hide docs
VR-VA-0066-0001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lienhard, John P. (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-VA-0066-0002
Sheehy, Shawn Toomey (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-VA-0066-0002
Torchinsky, Jason Brett (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-VA-0066-0002

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