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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

South Carolina Open Primary Lawsuit Dropped

Back in April, the Republican Party of Greenville County brought a federal lawsuit against South Carolina's state-mandated open primary, in which each voter picks a party on primary day. The party had wanted to be able to block Democrats from voting in GOP primaries. On August 14, however, the party voluntarily dropped the suit.

I have not been able to find any articles on this from the South Carolina press. Anyone who files a lawsuit like this usually catches a lot of flak from the voters, the other major party, and even some members of his own party. U. S. senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, had issued a statement criticizing the suit. Also, Samuel Harms, who filed the suit, was ousted in May from his post as county GOP chairman.

The suit in which the Idaho Republican Party is challenging that state's compulsory open primary system is going forward. There will soon be a trial in U. S. district court there (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa).

There is also a movement among Hawaii's Republicans against the Aloha State's open primary law.

In 2007, in a suit brought by a local unit of the Virginia Republican Party, the 4th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, when a party is forced to hold a primary, the party-- not the state-- decides who is eligible to vote in that primary (Miller v. Cunningham).

I still believe that, when a case involving a state-mandated open primary reaches the U. S. Supreme Court, the high court will declare it unconstitutional.

Thanks to Ballot Access News.

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