Top Two Primary Litigation

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The Washington State GOP is suing the state to defeat the new Top Two primary. The WA Secretary of State's office has the documentation online. It's been fast-tracked in federal district court because this will directly affect the September 2005 primary coming up.

I think the case is strong, but the strongest part of the case is where the Top Two initiative forces the parties to be affiliated with people they don't want to be affiliated with, which directly violates both the spirit and the letter of the Supreme Court decision in CDP v Jones (2000). The initiative changed the part of WA law that says someone puts their party *affiliation* on the primary ballot, to party *preference,* which means they can say they are a Republican even if they are a far-left liberal that the Republican party disavows.

The Republicans quote some of the same parts of Jones that I did. It is a pretty clear case, I think, and I can't see how the GOP won't win, at least substantially. The question, I think, is whether the entire Top Two will be abolished, or just the part allowing anyone to put any party preference they want on the ballot will be abolished.

On July 13 the court will hear arguments. I think the most likely outcomes will be either an injunction against the state, banning the Top Two from taking effect until the court can more fully decide the case, or a quick judgment ruling against the state. From there, the state may appeal to the Ninth District Court, where it will end, because there's no way the Supreme Court will hear this case again.

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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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