Kasich May Be Thrown Off Pa. Primary Ballot

But did Marco Rubio's challenge come too late?

Marco Rubio, John Kasich

Marco Rubio, John Kasich

National Review is calling it “The 13 Minutes That May Save Kasich in Pennsylvania.

Here’s the story: GOP presidential John Kasich might get tossed off the Pennsylvania primary ballot because his campaign didn’t submit enough valid signatures on its petition to get ballot access: The Post-Gazette reports Kasich’s petition contained 2,184 signatures — but 192 were invalid. The minimum number required? Two thousand.

Straightforward, right? Wrong.

It turns out the state allows challenges to the nominating petitions for up to seven days after the filing deadline.

The filing deadline was 5 p.m. Feb. 16. The challenge? Filed on Feb. 23 … at 5:13 p.m.

So the question becomes: Is that seven day challenge period seven days to the minute? Or does it go all the way to midnight seven days later?

The answer will rest with the Commonwealth Court, whose judges on Wednesday acknowledged there’s no legal precedent on the matter. Kasich’s campaign argued for the 5 p.m. definition; a lawyer connected to Marco Rubio’s campaign argued for the more expansive definition. No word on when the court will rule; observers say any decision could be appealed all the way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.