Saturday, December 06, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Rolly: GOP Suit Against Count My Vote Could Backfire

We're inclined to believe that Count My Vote petition negotiators capably "did their homework"

Fascinating Paul Rolly story in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune, suggesting that as the "chips fall" in the Utah GOP's anti-SB54 lawsuit, Utah GOP party boss "James Evans, with all his 'good' intentions, could be the best friend the Count My Vote advocates could have":
"...several legal experts have told me that if any part of the bill is found to infringe on a party’s constitutional rights, its the part that requires a political party to meet certain criteria in order to have its nominee on the general election ballot under that party’s official banner," Mr. Rolley reports.

Mr. Rolley sets forth those SB54 provisions which are most likely to to be vulnerable to constitutional challenge:
In order to qualify to have their nominee from the caucus/convention system appear as their designated candidate on the general election ballot, however, they must agree to certain rules set down by the law. They must change their threshold for a candidate winning the nomination at convention from 60 percent to 65 percent of the delegate vote. They also must have alternate delegates who can sub for delegates unable to attend the convention. And, they must allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary elections.
Mr. Rolley also identifies the statutory provisions most likely to be left intact:
Legal experts tell me that the courts have been consistent in upholding a state’s right to set the criteria for candidates getting on the ballot. More than 40 states already have some form of a direct primary. But political parties do have rights to set their own policies and rules. So if there is a chance of anything being overturned, it would be the rules imposed on the parties under SB54.
If that is struck down, however, the Count My Vote part of the bill — the signature-gathering process for direct access to the primary ballot — would still be intact because when the Legislature passed the bill, it included a severability clause. That means that if one part of the bill is declared invalid, it does not invalidate the rest of the bill.
Taking the foregoing into account, we're inclined to believe that in negotiating the SB54 compromise bill with the State Legislature, Count My Vote petition advocates capably "did their homework."

We'll be sitting on the edges of our seats,  eagerly waiting to find out whether a strong dose of "the law of unintended consequences" is in the cards for the "petulant" Utah party bosses," even in the event that the above-cited portion of SB54 is eventually struck down by the federal court, of course.

Howbout you, O Gentle WCF Readers?


blackrulon said...

It would be informative if the Standard would contact Top of Utah legislators to get their opinion on the lawsuit. I would be curious how many who voted for the legislation also back the lawsuit.

blackrulon said...

I see via a story in the Salt Lake Tribune (12-7-2014) that Governor Herbert "lauds GOP for suing him". If the Governor was concerned about the law he could have vetoed the bill or allowed it to become law without his approval. It appears that he jumped on the bsndwagon to approve the bill and now has received pressure to disapprove the bill. Even for Utah this is a callous disregard of the peoples desire to improve the nominating process. It seems he still fears a challenge from Becky Lockhart for governor. He is simply jumping to the far right Tea party wing to secure his renomination and reelection.

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved