Conyers, who is seeking a 25th term in Congress, had to submit
more than 1,000 signatures to have his name appear on the primary
ballot, but fell short after his opponent challenged the validity of
the people who were circulating his petitions.
Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett tossed out hundreds of the
signatures gathered for Conyers by petition circulators who were not
registered voters - a violation of the state law.
Conyers, who turns 85 on Friday, argued in the federal lawsuit that
the law which requires them to be registered voters should be
His opponent, the Reverend Horace Sheffield, and Sheffield's
campaign manager Richard Jones, have asked the federal court to
allow them to intervene as defendants in the lawsuit.
Conyers joined a lawsuit filed on Monday by the American Civil
Liberties Union, as a named plaintiff. The complaint also names a
district voter and two of the petition circulators as plaintiffs.
The federal court in Detroit has scheduled a hearing on May 21 on
their request for a temporary restraining order or preliminary
injunction to stop the state from enforcing the law and put Conyers
back on the ballot.
The liberal Conyers is one of America's most prominent
African-American politicians and is a former chairman of the
powerful House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee.
was first elected to the U.S. House in 1964 and currently ranks
second in seniority. Fellow Michigan Representative John Dingell,
who is retiring this year, is the "dean" of the House, having
arrived in 1955.
[to top of second column]
The Wayne County clerk had determined after Sheffield's challenge
that only 592 valid signatures remained out of 1,236 found initially
valid for Conyers.
Conyers also could attempt to run in the August primary as a
write-in candidate if his appeals to get on the ballot fail.
The Detroit-area district is solidly Democratic. President Barack
Obama won 85 percent of the vote in the district in his 2012
re-election, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House.
(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; editing by Gunna Dickson)
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