All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. - 14th Amendment to the US Constitution
If the #springfield2012 twitter feed is to be believed it looks as if the entrance of Deval Patrick has had its desired effect. Marissa DeFranco looks to be falling short of the 15% needed to be on the primary ballot in September. This brings up an interesting point. Are her Constitutional rights being violated?
Massachusetts Law requires one to garner 10,000 certified signatures to get on the ballot. In addition the Republican Party and Democratic Party require a 15% vote at convention to place a name on the ballot for statewide offices. However when there is no convention the 10,000 signature threshold is sufficient. That's where the opportunity for DeFranco to challenge her removal from the ballot lies.
If DeFranco were running as a Republican or Independent in this years election, she would not need to garner 15% of the vote at a convention. She would be on the ballot as a result of gaining the 10,000 signatures.
DeFranco can make a strong case that ballot access is unequal under the law in Massachusetts, in that other people can get on the ballot by merely doing what she already has, that is gaining 10,000 signatures.
It would make interesting case law if DeFranco chooses to sue for ballot access. I for one hope she does.