U.S. SUPREME COURT TURNS DOWN FURTHER REVIEW OF HAWAII’S OPEN PRIMARY ELECTIONS
News Release from Hawaii Attorney General, May 18, 2017
On Monday, May 15, 2017, the United States Supreme Court declined to review the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s challenge to the State’s open primary elections. This leaves in place the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision from last year upholding the constitutionality of Hawaii’s open primary elections. The Supreme Court also turned down a similar case in litigation against the state of Montana.
In August 2016, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Democratic Party did not show that the open primary system burdens its associational rights. The Party offered no evidence that the open primary impacted its candidates or messages. The Ninth Circuit noted that Hawaii’s voters may vote in only one party’s primary election.
“After nearly four years of litigation, Monday’s order means that this challenge to Hawaii’s open primary system has been brought to an entirely successful conclusion,” said Attorney General Doug Chin.
The case, Democratic Party of Hawaii v. Nago, was originally filed in the federal district court in Hawaii. In November 2013, Judge J. Michael Seabright ruled in the State’s favor, upholding the open primary. The Democratic Party of Hawaii appealed. The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in May 2016.
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Supreme Court rejects challenge to Hawaii, Montana open primaries
AP: The Supreme Court has turned away challenges to open primaries in Hawaii and Montana that allow voters to take part in party primary elections regardless of their political affiliations.
The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place rulings by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the states’ open primaries….
IVN: SCOTUS Rejects Major Party Challenges to Open Primaries
read … Supreme Court rejects challenge to Hawaii, Montana open primaries
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Are Open Primaries Unconstitutional? SCOTUS May Decide
by Shawn M. Griffiths, IVN, May 11, 2017
The justices on the Supreme Court will consider taking up two cases challenging open primaries in Montana and Hawaii Thursday. The lawsuits were brought by the majority parties in each state (Democratic Party in Hawaii; Republican committees in Montana), both asserting that the open primary system severely burdens their First Amendment right to association.
Up to this point, lower courts in both cases have ruled that neither the Democratic Party in Hawaii nor the Republican Party in Montana presented sufficient evidence to make their case. Will the Supreme Court find differently?
READ MORE: SCOTUS Sets Conference Date for Hawaii, Montana Open Primary Cases
ALSO READ: SCOTUS Hints Partisan Open Primaries May Be Unconstitutional