SCOTUS Rejects Major Party Challenges to Open Primaries

Created: 15 May, 2017
Updated: 17 October, 2022
1 min read

The AP reported Monday that the Supreme Court has rejected two cases challenging open primaries in Montana and Hawaii. The justices did not comment on their decision to leave the Ninth Circuit's rulings in place.

The majority parties in both states -- Democratic Party of Hawaii and Republican committees in Montana -- filed a legal challenge against the open primary laws in their respective states, which allow voters to choose a party ballot on primary election day without consideration of their party affiliation.

In both cases, lower courts ruled that the plaintiffs did not provide sufficient evidence that their constitutional rights were severely burdened by open primaries; specifically, their First Amendment right to association.

For now, the high court is staying out of the legal challenges to primary elections. In 2015, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to closed primaries in New Jersey brought by a coalition of nonpartisan organizations and individual plaintiffs, led by the Independent Voter Project.

Read More About the New Jersey Lawsuit Here.

Photo Credit: Steven Frame / shutterstock.com

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