New Jersey’s limit on appropriate ballot slogans was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Wednesday, allowing election officials to ban candidates from using other people’s names and slogans.

The lawsuit was filed after Eugene Mazo, a constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, tested the state’s slogan law after brief bids for the Democratic congressional nomination in New Jersey’s 10th District in 2020 and 8th District in 2022. year.

In 2020, Mazo attempted to run under the Essex County Democratic Committee, Hudson County Democratic Organization, and Union County Regular Democratic Organization, but was blocked because the county organizations support Payne.

In 2020, he sued disgruntled perennial candidate Lisa McCormick after his bid to run under the slogans “Not Me, We” and “Bernie Sanders Betrayed the Revolution in New Jersey” was rejected because she didn’t have a permit for them. use.

Last summer, U.S. District Court Chief Justice Freda Wolfson dismissed Mazo’s claim arguing that the requirement to obtain the consent of a party organization to use their slogan for a ballot was unconstitutional. Wolfson said Mazo cannot “plausibly” argue that the statute violates his First Amendment rights.

“To preserve the promise of democratic self-government, our constitution places on states a noble but often difficult duty to protect the integrity and honesty of elections without impeding the free exchange of ideas and association that occurs among voters, parties, and candidates as part of every political campaign,” she wrote. Judge Cheryl Ann Krause of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. “And while courts are bound to fiercely protect First Amendment rights when states adopt politically neutral rules for the machinery of the election process itself, the respect embodied in Anderson-Burdick the balance test is both appropriate and necessary.”

Krause said that “New Jersey has struck the right balance between the rights of voters, candidates and third parties, on the one hand, and the need to ensure the order and fairness of the vote, on the other.”

Earlier this year, Mazo tried to use the slogan “With the support of the governor” in part of the 8th in Union County; Governor Phil Murphy has already endorsed Robert J. Menendez on the spot. He sought to use in Hudson “Endorsed by the New York Times.”

But the Department of Elections director at the time, Robert Giles, rejected both slogans, allowing Maso to use only the word “Prof. Lawyer. The author. Immigrant. A Proud Newarker,” which he filed in Essex. Giles told Maso that he could not use the slogans without the consent of Murphy and the New York Times, respectively.

The U.S. District Court agreed with Giles

In the 4th District, Republican Robert Shapiro was allowed to change his original slogan “Let’s Go Brand*n – FJB” to “Let’s Go Brand*n” after officials clarified that “FJB” referred to a specific person — in this case , an acronym widely known as “Fuck Joe Biden” — and that he would need Biden’s permission.

In the end, Mazo and Shapiro didn’t run in the June primary because they couldn’t get fifty valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Manzo and McCormick are ordered to pay their costs on appeal.

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