WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a last-ditch bid to put Ralph Nader on Oregon's ballot.
Supporters of the independent presidential candidate had asked the court last week to block Oregon from printing ballots without his name. The court declined, although Justice Stephen G. Breyer noted that he supported the stay.
The court's action was good news for supporters of presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry, who feared Nader would draw votes away from the Massachusetts Democrat.
Four years ago, Nader received 5% of the vote in Oregon and 3% of the vote in Ohio as the Green Party nominee. This year, he has had the support of less than 2% of voters from those states in recent polls.
Last week, the Oregon Supreme Court sided with state election officials who found flawed petitions had left Nader short of the 15,306 signatures needed to put him on the Nov. 2 ballot.
In Ohio, the secretary of state ruled Tuesday that Nader could not be on the ballot there because thousands of the petition signatures were deemed invalid. In Wisconsin, a judge kicked Nader off the state ballot, prompting an appeal by Nader to the state Supreme Court.
Nader fared better in New Mexico, where the state's high court ordered his name placed on the ballot, and in Maine, where a state judge ruled he could remain on the ballot.
Nader is on the ballot in more than 30 states and is suing for ballot access in several others.
Oregon residents vote by mail, and counties have started printing 1.9 million ballots.