Ninth Circuit Court Upholds Proposition 14 in California

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the implementation of California’s Proposition 14 on Thursday in the case Chamness v. Bowen. Proposition 14, approved by California voters in 2010, implemented a nonpartisan top-two primary system in the state.

Michael Chamness, a nonprofit consultant and Coffee Party activist, challenged a specific law in the new top-two system, SB 6, saying it violated his constitutional rights when he ran in the special primary election for Senate District 28 earlier this year and filed an injunction to keep the new system from being implemented in the special election for California’s 36th Congressional District.

The Ninth Circuit unanimously rejected Chamness’ constitutional claims, including that the new system violated his First Amendment rights, as well as efforts to block the enforcement of Proposition 14. California’s top-two primary system continues to withstand the legal challenges brought against it.

Chamness v. Bowen