Anderson v. Celebrezze

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Anderson v. Celebrezze
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued December 6, 1982
Decided April 19, 1983
Full case name John B. Anderson, et al., Petitioners v. Anthony J. Celebrezze, Jr., Secretary of State of Ohio
Citations 460 U.S. 780 (more)
103 S. Ct. 1564; 75 L. Ed. 2d 547; 1983 U.S. LEXIS 145; 51 U.S.L.W. 4375
Prior history Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Ohio's early filing deadline places an unconstitutional burden on the voting and associational rights of petitioner Anderson's supporters.[1]
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Stevens, joined by Burger, Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun
Dissent Rehnquist, joined by White, Powell, O'Connor
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I, XIV

Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780 (1983), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that Ohio's filing deadline for independent candidates was unconstitutional.


John B. Anderson was a declared candidate for the 1980 presidential election. On 16 May 1980, Anderson's supporters filed a nominating petition to the Ohio Secretary of State's office. Then-secretary Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. rejected the petition, because it was not filed by the state's deadline of seventy-five days prior to the presidential primary. At that time, the primary election was held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in June. In 1980, the deadline would have been 20 March.[1]

The district court ruled that the statute was unconstitutional on two grounds. First, the statute violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution by placing too high of a burden to petition the government. Second, the deadline was earlier than that required by candidates in the major parties, thereby violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This decision was later reversed by the United States Court of Appeals.[1]

Opinion of the Court[edit]

Majority opinion[edit]

The Court overturned the Appellate Court's ruling and reinstated that of the district court. Among other points, the majority stated:

Dissenting opinion[edit]

The dissenting opinion of the court pointed to Ohio's deadline for partisan candidates, which was the same as that of independent candidates:

The dissent additionally stated that states had discretion in allowing or refusing to allow national candidates on their ballots. In light of a sensible system of petitioning, the Supreme Court should not interfere:


  1. ^ a b c d e f 460 U.S. 780 Full text of the opinion courtesy of

Further reading[edit]

  • McCleskey, Clifton (1984). "Parties at the Bar: Equal Protection of Freedom of Association and the Rights of Political Organizations". Journal of Politics 46 (2): 346–368. doi:10.2307/2130966. JSTOR 2130966. 

External links[edit]