Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes might have thought she was sounding tough recently when she told Sen. Rand Paul that she will go to court, if necessary, from keeping Paul from appearing on the ballot twice.
Grimes told WHAS 11's Joe Arnold:
The law is clear,” Grimes told WHAS-TV in Louisville. “You can’t be on the ballot twice for two offices.”
“We’ll look to the court for any guidance that is needed,” she added. “And at the end of the day, we’re not going to be bullied.”
That removes a legal hurdle for Paul, a doctrine called standing, that might have been problematic for him but for Grimes's statement. Standing is a doctrine that court's use to avoid ruling on a case. It requires that the plaintiff have a particularized injury that could be redressed by the relief sought in the case. That allows courts to dismiss cases where the connection between the relief sought and the injury alleged is speculative.
For Paul, standing might have been an issue if he challenged Kentucky's statute prohibiting one's name from appearing on a ballot twice. If Paul brought suit before he had actually filed to run for both the U.S. Senate and the presidency, there is a very real possibility that the court would dismiss on either standing or ripeness.
Grimes's comments, however, make clear that Paul's injury is neither speculative nor premature. She has, in effect, teed up his legal challenge for him by removing several possible procedural hurdles.