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  • Writer's pictureNEWTON1776



logged 11:58 am - by William T. Newton



Who really gets to choose the NOMINEE that appears on the General Election ballot, the government or the People in each political Party❓

♦️ There are a few "takeaways" from the text at the end of this thread I have added from the National Constitution Center that MUST be taken into consideration (and added to the coming discussion regarding Political Parties and their Primaries.....terms such as: "closed or open".... and caucuses included).

♦️ ALSO let's NOT ignore the FACT that DEMOCRATS sought to EXCLUDE "BLACK" PEOPLE from the elective process.....yet today, Black people predominantly VOTE with their Democrat oppressors while claiming it's the Republicans‼️

♦️ Basically in law, control over Primary elections by the State was focused on race and general access, leaving other facets of control WITH THE POLITICAL PARTIES themselves regarding the process and choosing it's nominee (along with the qualification/disqualification)....the only restrictions coming from the terminology and narrow definition of what constitutes a "State Action".


I have made it easy for you to read and learn. #NewtonSaidIt


California Democratic Party v. Jones, 530 U.S. 567 (2000)

♦️ In a 7-2 opinion delivered by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court held that California's blanket primary violates a political party's First Amendment right of association. "Proposition 198 forces political parties to associate with -- to have their nominees, and hence their positions, determined by -- those who, at best, have refused to affiliate with the party, and, at worst, have expressly affiliated with a rival," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia for the majority. "A single election in which the party nominee is selected by nonparty members could be enough to destroy the party." Justice Scalia went on to state for the Court that Proposition 198 takes away a party's "basic function" to choose its own leaders and is functionally "both severe and unnecessary."

✳️ This decision gives weight to the argument that the Parties themselves hold and retain the exclusivity of selection of it's NOMINEE - NOT the State‼️

Nixon v. Herndon, 273 U.S. 536 (1927)

♦️ "....the plaintiff (a Black man), being a member of the Democratic party, sought to vote but was denied the right by defendants; that the denial was based upon a Statute of Texas enacted in May, 1923, and designated Article 3093a, by the words of which "in no event shall a negro be eligible to participate in a Democratic party primary election held in the State of Texas....".

State Action requirement

♦️ "The state action requirement refers to the requirement that in order for a plaintiff to have standing to sue over a law being violated, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the government (local, state, or federal), was responsible for the violation, rather than a private actor.

This requirement only applies when the law in question requires the government to have acted.'

Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944)

♦️ The Court then clarified in 1944 it's definition in Smith v. Allwright, in which it adopted a broader conception of “state action, ending white primaries but had nothing to do otherwise with how political parties conducted their nominees.

"Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court with regard to voting rights and, by extension, racial desegregation. It overturned the Texas state law that authorized parties to set their internal rules, including the use of white primaries."

From the Maryland State Board of Elections (Dec 2023).


♦️ What is a party primary election❓

"The Democratic and Republican 👉🏽Parties are required to use primary elections to choose THEIR candidates for the general election."👈🏽




"The 2016 presidential primary season kicks off on February 1 with the Iowa caucuses, but little attention is given to the various state-by-state protocols that determine how these important elections are run. There is the rare debate over open or closed primaries; there is the occasional explanation of the difference between caucuses and primaries. But the basic rules are rarely discussed, outside of policy wonk circles and party committees.

Today, the states hold considerable power in determining the rules for all elections that happen within their borders. In general elections, states decide which method of voting will be used, whether felons can vote, and whether voters must show some form of identification at the polls. In primary contests, state parties run caucuses, but state governments conduct primaries.

States set many rules of primary elections; they choose the date and determine if the primary will be open or closed. Yet they do not have absolute power—for example, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a voter-approved law requiring “blanket” primaries in California. Plus, the political parties determine how delegates will be assigned in light of primary results.

An important layer in this system is the federal government, which mandates that all federal elections, primary or otherwise, be held in accordance with the Voting Rights Act. This ability is derived from its enforcement power under the 15th Amendment.

In the early 20th century, some state primary rules were highly controversial and the subject of multiple Supreme Court decisions. Legal challenges helped shape the structure of primaries today, and animated discussions about the constitutional authority of states to curb private discriminatory actions.

In 1923, Texas passed a law forbidding blacks from participating in the Texas Democratic Party primary. When Dr. L.A. Nixon was denied access to the polls on account of his race, he sued the state of Texas, claiming that the restriction violated his constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The Supreme Court struck down the restriction, with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writing that it was “hard to imagine a more direct and obvious infringement” of the 14th Amendment.

In response to the Court’s decision, the Texas Democratic Party instituted a rule prohibiting blacks from participating in its primaries, which was similarly challenged as a 14th Amendment violation. But the Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Texas Democratic Party, finding that the situation at hand was fundamentally different than that in the earlier case.

The Court explained that the Democratic Party was a private organization and could determine for itself its eligibility and membership requirements. The scope of the 14th Amendment was constrained by the “state action doctrine,” meaning that it guaranteed equal treatment only under governmental action and could not regulate the actions of private organizations like the Democratic Party.

Nine years later, however, the Court reversed this decision in Smith v. Allwright, in which it adopted a broader conception of “state action.” It reasoned that primary elections are an integral component of general elections and the democratic process. As a result, primaries must be seen as sanctioned by the state and are therefore subject to 14th and 15th Amendment scrutiny. Despite the fact that the Democratic Party was a private organization, the Court acknowledged that disenfranchisement from primary elections is a denial of voting rights and rectified the situation.

The Court has since continued to expand its conception of state action and ruled that guarantees of equal protection can often apply to private organizations. In 1948, the Court ruled that courts could not uphold contracts that did not allow blacks to purchase homes, because such enforcement counted as state action. It later decided that actions by a private business that leases public property were subject to state action constraints.

Later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned private discrimination on the basis of the Commerce Clause, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 instituted further protections to ensure that no one would be denied the right to vote on account of his or her race.

Still, as we barrel toward Iowa and New Hampshire, these cases provide a special insight into the development of primary elections and the application of constitutional guarantees."

(September 23, 2015 by Jonathan Stahl)

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