By Eliana Johnson
Stafford, Paul’s senior adviser, points to the Supreme Court’s 1995 decision in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, which held that states cannot add to the constitutional requirements for federal office. He says it’s one precedent that would help Team Paul get the Kentucky law thrown out. “I think [the term-limits case] would hold sway here,” says Brad Smith, a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission and founder of the Center for Competitive Politics. While the state could potentially prohibit a candidate from running for state office if also running for federal office, it probably can’t limit somebody from running for federal office.
“Paul most likely wins in court,” Smith says. “It’s hard to see how the commonwealth benefits from this law, and the legislature would be wise to decide early if it really wants or needs that challenge.”