Update: Longtime Rep. John Conyers will appear on the primary ballot for his own re-election attempt after all, following a successful last-ditch appeal to a judge on the matter.
Federal Judge Matthew Leitman's order, WXYZ reported, overrides the Michigan Secretary of State Elections Division's determination from earlier today that the Representative did not have enough valid signatures to appear on the primary ballot. Without Leitman's intervention, Conyers would have needed to run as a write-in candidate.
Original Post: Longtime Rep. John Conyers lost his appeal to a decision that took his name off of Michigan's primary ballot for his current seat in the House. Conyers, if re-elected, would be the longest-serving current member of Congress. The current longest-serving member of Congress, Rep. John Dingell also of Michigan, will retire at the end of this term.
How did the longtime Democratic Representative end up in this position? It has to do with Michigan's strict laws governing who may appear on an election ballot. This year, Conyers faced a primary challenger: Rev. Horace Sheffield, from Detroit. Both Sheffield and Conyers had to collect a certain number of valid signatures in order to get a spot on the August 5 primary ballot. At first, it looked like both had succeeded. That is, until Sheffield challenged the validity of several of Conyers's signature collectors, on the grounds that they may not have been registered voters at the time they were working for the campaign. It's a strange rule, but it's still the rule. As it turns out, two of Conyers's signature collectors didn't meet that requirement, meaning that all of the signatures they collected — including those deemed as valid signatures from voters in the 13th district — were invalidated.