imagesThe Columbus Dispatch reports that a law dubbed by its opponents as the John Kasich Re-Election Protection Act has been blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson who ruled in favor of the Libertarian Party which had filed a constitutional challenge. Watson issued a preliminary injunction against the law that would have kept minor parties from holding a primary election in 2014 and increased the number of signatures required for ballot access.

Watson was concerned with the retroactivity of the bill. He wrote,

“The Ohio legislature moved the proverbial goalpost in the midst of the game,”

referring to the fact that the law which was passed in November would be retroactive to January 2013, well before the February 5, 2013 filing deadline for Ohio primaries.

The court action increases the chances for Governor Kasich to face a third party challenge this year in the form of Libertarian candidate Charlie Earl.

Secretary of State John Husted has not indicated whether or not he would fight the ruling.

Political onlookers may wonder at Governor Kasich and the Republican legislature’s actions in passing the law. By making it harder for challengers to enter the race, Kasich and Statehouse Republicans appear to demonstrate a lack of confidence in the Governor’s re-election chances. Perhaps the big Medicaid expansion win the Governor and Republicans sealed does not sit well with their party base.

Passing a major component of Obamacare is a good way to dampen conservative turn-out.  No matter what their political leanings, voters tend to want to vote for the sure thing. Governor Kasich has shown he is anything but that when it comes to implementing tried and true, fiscally conservative policies.