West Virginia legislation dictating order of candidates based on party on ballots deemed constitutional

West Virginia

FILE – In this Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, Patrick Morrisey speaks to reporters after a debate in Morgantown, W.Va. State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some lawyers for state and local governments are renewing public criticism of the proposed deal with a group of companies led by the nation’s largest drug distributors. In a statement Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, Morrisey, the attorney general in West Virginia, one of the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, said the $22 billion in cash being offered by distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plus drugmaker Johnson & Johnson “is way too low.”(AP Photo/Raymond Thompson, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDVM) — A lawsuit claiming that West Virginia’s statewide process of ordering names on ballots based on party affiliation was a partisan law and unconstitutional came to an end Wednesday.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that this state law was constitutional and “did not present an unfair advantage to one party or the other,” according to a release from the Attorney General’s office.

This legislation was first passed three decades ago. The release from the Attorney General’s office said that it called for the “party whose presidential candidate received the most votes in West Virginia” to have the first position in all races for its candidates. This order would be up to change every four years.

“It’s good to see the Court’s recognition that this is not a partisan law,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in the release. “In fact, it’s the opposite of partisan in that it treats all political parties equally. If a party’s presidential candidate gets the most votes in one election, that party’s candidates are listed first in the next one.”

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