Va. Appeals Court Rules Against Perry and Gingrich's Attempt to Get on Ballot

A federal appeals court in Virginia today denied an emergency request by Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and other  Republican presidential hopefuls who failed to qualify for the Virginia primary to be placed on the ballot.

After failing to get the required 10,000 signatures necessary to be placed on the ballot, the two candidates argued that Virginia's strict ballot law was unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the U.S.  Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with a lower court and ruled today that the candidates had waited too long to file their suit.

The court ruled unanimously that Perry and the other candidates "had every opportunity to challenge the various Virginia ballot requirements at a time when the challenge would not have created the disruption that this last-minute lawsuit has."

The court said that if it had ruled in favor of Perry, then it would encourage other candidates for president "who knew the requirements and failed to satisfy them to seek at a tardy and belated hour to change the rules of the game."

"This would not be fair to the states or to other candidates who did comply with the prescribed processes in a timely manner and it would throw the presidential nominating process into added turmoil", the court said.