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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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March 19, 2008 3:05 PM

Did political parties misread court’s primary decision?

Posted by David Postman

That’s what the News Tribune’s Peter Callaghan says. At the TNT political blog, Callaghan says a careful read of yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the top two primary doesn’t invite further court action, but outlines how to conduct the election within the Constitution.

Rather than saying they will wait to see how the law in put into practice, the justices gave the state a road map for implementing Top Two in a way that will meet their approval.

Callaghan includes the important passages from the decision that show the path to follow. Now, how carefully do you think that map will be followed?

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March 19, 2008 2:56 PM

Remember Ron Paul?

Posted by David Postman

Supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul out-organized the opposition to win last weekend’s presidential delegate fight at the Whatcom County Republican Party Convention. That’s a pretty good showing given that Paul didn’t win either the February caucus or primary in the county.

Supporters said they worked harder to get their backers to the convention. But Paul’s people also had superior staying power. Sam Taylor writes in the Bellingham Herald:

The convention went so long — 9 a.m. to after 11 p.m. Saturday — that Paul supporters dug in their heels, and when others began going home, they stayed and maintained a strong presence.

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March 19, 2008 10:57 AM

Court decision on primary likely not the last word

Posted by David Postman

I was sorry to not have been here yesterday for the big news of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Washington’s top-two primary. But there’s a pretty good chance the issue will be back in the courts before too long.

Here’s the court’s conclusion:

Respondents ask this Court to invalidate a popularly enacted election process that has never been carried out. Immediately after implementing regulations were enacted, respondents obtained a permanent injunction against the enforcement of I-872. The First Amendment does not require this extraordinary and precipitous nullification of the will of the people. Because I-872 does not on its face provide for the nomination of candidates or compel political parties to associate with or endorse candidates, and because there is no basis in this facial challenge for presuming that candidates' party-preference designations will confuse voters, I-872 does not on its face severely burden respondents' associational rights. We accordingly hold that I-872 is facially constitutional.

So it’s constitutional on its face, but maybe not in practice. Rick Hasen, a law professor at Loyola Law School and proprietor of the excellent Election Law Blog, says the ruling was a shocker. And he explains that if the parties can show voters couldn’t understand the new system they might still be able to throw out the top-two.

The Court, and particularly Justice Roberts, leaves open the possibility of an as-applied challenge to the law later upon proof that voters are actually confused by the designations of the candidates' party preferences on the ballot (thinking that this is really a party primary).

Continue reading this post ...


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March 19, 2008 9:51 AM

Rove coming to raise money for state GOP

Posted by David Postman

Former White House aide, and current Fox News analyst, Karl Rove will be in Newcastle next week for a state Republican Party fundraiser. For $1,000 you can participate in a roundtable discussion with Rove and get your photo taken with him.

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Recent entries

Mar 19, 08 - 03:05 PM
Did political parties misread court’s primary decision?

Mar 19, 08 - 02:56 PM
Remember Ron Paul?

Mar 19, 08 - 10:57 AM
Court decision on primary likely not the last word

Mar 19, 08 - 09:51 AM
Rove coming to raise money for state GOP

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