Choose Your Own Candidate

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WA Secretary of State wants to allow anyone on the primary ballots to say they are from any party they choose to say they are from. He said the other day, "on the thought that somehow you can say to somebody, you can't call yourself a Republican or Democrat (on a ballot), just doesn't wash."

But the Supreme Court disagrees with him. In California Democratic Party vs. Bill Jones, Secretary of State of California, Justice Scalia wrote for the majority:

In no area is the political association’s right to exclude more important than in the process of selecting its nominee. That process often determines the party’s positions on the most significant public policy issues of the day, and even when those positions are predetermined it is the nominee who becomes the party’s ambassador to the general electorate in winning it over to the party’s views. ...

... our cases vigorously affirm the special place the First Amendment reserves for, and the special protection it accords, the process by which a political party “select[s] a standard bearer who best represents the party’s ideologies and preferences.†The moment of choosing the party’s nominee, we have said, is “the crucial juncture at which the appeal to common principles may be translated into concerted action, and hence to political power in the community.â€

In other words, Reed is clearly wrong, and either he doesn't know it, or he is pandering to the voters who don't know or don't care.

The party gets to choose its candidate. The only way the voters got around this is by not having a partisan general election: if you disregard party in the general election, then therefore the primary is not selecting the nominee of the party, so the primary can be open. But that doesn't mean the party cannot choose their nominee prior to the primary, and nothing Sam Reed can say will take away this clearly existing right of political parties.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on May 17, 2005 11:24 AM.

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