Sunday, March 16, 2008

Issue: Closed Primary Process

Covering the issue of states which hold the Democrat or Republican Party's closed Primary which is ultimately supported by all taxpayers of a state. Is this fair to third political parties who hold their own process to nominate a candidate for the office of President?

(Net the Truth Online)

For discussion purposes only, no endorsements are made by Net the Truth Online of any political party candidates.

PA Election Code Unfairly Discriminates in Favor of Established Party Candidates, ACLU Charges (8/24/2001)

...In legal papers, the ACLU argues that applying a different and more burdensome candidate-disqualification standards to newer and smaller political organizations violates the Constitution's equal protection free association guarantees.

A 1999 federal appeals court decision involving Allegheny County and the Reform Party declared Pennsylvania's ban on ""minor political parties"" running major party candidates in school board elections to be unconstitutional discrimination.

The case is The Public Interest v. Armstrong County Board of Election, filed in U. S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

The complaint is online at

Ballot access rules regulate the conditions under which a candidate or political party is entitled to appear on voters' ballots. Laws restricting which names may appear on the ballot have an obvious impact on the rights of candidates and political parties, but such laws also affect the rights of voters. The U.S. Supreme Court has observed that the rights of candidates and voters are closely intertwined. Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134 (1972).

Overview of ballot access in the U.S.

Each State has its own ballot access laws to determine who may appear on ballots and who may not. According to Article I, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, the authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of federal elections is up to each State, unless Congress legislates otherwise.

The main rationale put forward by States for restricting ballot access has been the argument that setting ballot access criteria too low would result in numerous frivolous candidates cluttering the ballot, which would cause confusion and waste the time of voters. However, proponents of ballot access reform say that reasonably easy access to the ballot does not lead to a glut of candidates, and that, even where many candidates do appear on the ballot, as was the case in the crowded 2003 California recall, actual election results show that such crowding does not in fact confuse voters...

Dems want closed primary

NEW ORLEANS - Federal law allows Mississippi Democrats to limit voting its in primaries to the party faithful, a party lawyer argued Wednesday to a federal appeals court.

Ellis Turnage of Cleveland, Miss., representing the state Democratic Party, told members of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Mississippi's current method of allowing anyone to vote in a party primary violates the Democrats' right to association.

Richard Winger announced on Ballot Access News:
On June 8, a US District Court Judge in Mississippi ruled in favor of the Democratic Party. The issue was whether the party could require voters in its primary to be members or not. The judge, a Clinton appointee, gave the legislature until April 2008 to find a way to give the Democratic Party what is wanted. This could be a law requiring registration by party, but the judge did not say that particular solution is needed. The case is Miss. State Dem. Party v Barbour, civil action no. 4:06cv29-P-B, Judge W. Allen Pepper.

Conservative Democrats Decry Mississippi Closed Primary Ruling
Chris Lawrence | Thursday, July 19, 2007

The federal district court for the Northern District of Mississippi last month ruled in favor of state Democratic Party officials who wanted to close their primaries to non-Democratic voters, much to the irritation of many of the party’s own officeholders who are warning of a return to racial bloc voting in the state...

June 11, 2007
"Mississippi: Dems win on closed primary"
Ed Still's Votelaw has this report, which includes a link to the district court's opinion.

Posted by Rick Hasen at June 11, 2007 06:03 AM

1 comment:

adap2k said...


My account was stripped like all the 200 post and 50 plus comments

I put up. No warning and no reason given for my removal, even after asking many

times and many different people. Free speech died here March 3rd.

Thanks alot, James Ruggiero

Ps I will be back, I am not going away!

Amnesty rips IDF for 'reckless disregard of life' in Gaza


The London-based human rights organization Amnesty International has condemned Israel's attacks on Gaza, claiming they are "being carried out with reckless disregard for civilian life."

"Israeli military attacks over the past few days have killed more than 75 Palestinians in Gaza, including at least 10 children, and other unarmed civilian bystanders not involved in the confrontations" Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program, said Sunday. "Israel has a legal obligation to protect the civilian population of Gaza. Such attacks are disproportionate and go beyond lawful measures which Israeli forces may take in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian armed groups."

A statement released by the organization said: "All unlawful attacks must stop - Israeli forces must put an immediate end to disproportionate attacks and collective punishment in Gaza and Palestinian armed groups must immediately stop the barrage of rockets into southern Israel."

"It is high time that the leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority took effective steps to prevent and punish attacks on civilians in Israel, but their failure to do so does not make it legitimate for the Israeli authorities to launch reckless air and artillery strikes which wreak such death and destruction among Palestinian civilians," said Smart.

In its statement, Amnesty highlighted disproportionate casualty statistics in the conflict, saying that in the last two months, close to 200 Gazans, of whom around "one-third were unarmed civilian bystanders, including 15 children" have been killed." In the same period, the statement continued, "one Israeli civilian was killed and several injured by rocket fire," the statement said.

"We condemn all attacks on civilians, but unlawful attacks by one side cannot justify violations by the other," Smart said.

The statement said that IDF actions this week displayed a "disproportion and recklessness" that has "characterized" its operations in Palestinian territories.

At the same time, Amnesty argued, Palestinian armed groups who launched frequent rocket attacks from Gaza into nearby Israeli towns not only showed a "callous disregard" for the lives of Israeli civilians but also exposed their own population to Israeli counterattacks.