ACLU sides with Rick Perry in Virginia ballot lawsuit

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting four Republican presidential candidates who are seeking a court order to get on Virginia's primary ballot.

The ACLU of Virginia filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging Virginia's ballot access law.

The organization says a provision that allows only Virginia residents to circulate petitions to get candidates on the ballot is unconstitutional. Texas Gov. Rick Perry sued last month after failing to collect the 10,000 voter signatures required to qualify for the state's March 6 primary.

Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum also failed to qualify and later joined Perry's lawsuit. A hearing is scheduled Friday before U.S. District Judge John Gibney in Richmond.

Only Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia GOP primary.