May 15, 2017

SCOTUS still hates third parties on voting rights issues; NC ruling was minor

Don't get sheepdogged by SCOTUS with or w/out Gorsuch
Don't let the Supreme Court's not granting cert on the North Carolina voting law fool you as to the Supreme Court's overall stance on voting rights issues. It actually declined to hear FOUR cases, all of which it had conferences about last week, as Ballot Access News details.

First, the NC case isn't as big a win as is being lauded on Twitter and other social media. The new Democratic administration had asked the court not to hear the case and thus let the appeals court ruling stand. That's all that happened.

The second and third were about open primaries in Hawaii and Montana, with suits by those states' Democratic and Republican parties, respectively. The Nine rightly decided not to intervene into legitimate state legislative actions.

The fourth is the most problematic one.

Here’s the details:
It refused to hear Libertarian Party of Kentucky v Grimes, 16-1034, thus continuing its 26-year record of refusing all cert petitions from minor parties and independent candidates that concern election law (unless the major parties were also in the same case). The issue was the state’s restrictive definition of “political party”, one which requires certain support in a presidential race.
Note first that long streak. Note that third parties are OK if they can coattail on a major party. In other words, while racial restrictions on voting are still the most important violation of the Voting Rights Act, they're not the only one, and non-racial violations continue to get even shorter shrift than do racial ones.

This should be of concern on the certain FEC appeal of its loss to the Libertarian and Green parties over the Commission on Presidential Debates back in February. It's also another reason I tell Dems-only voters that their "Oh the SCOTUS" scare tactics/sheepdogging every four years don't work, because the Nine vote on plenty of things besides abortion.

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