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Lawsuit over Timing of Florida Presidential Primary May Become Class Action

Published on November 29, 2008, by in General.

Jon Ausman, the Florida Democratic state official who sued his own state in 2007 over its January presidential primary date, has asked the Court to transform his lawsuit into a class action. The class would be composed of all Democratic and Republican registered voters in Florida. The theory is that they are being injured by Florida’s law requiring presidential primaries to be held in January. Both national committees forbid such early presidential primaries, except for a handful of states. In 2008, for a while it seemed that no Florida Democratic delegates would be seated in Denver, and that the Florida Republican delegation would lose half its strength in St. Paul. In the end the national parties relented, but Ausman argues that the problem will recur in the future. See this story. If Ausman wins this case, the outcome will represent a stunning advance in legal rights for political parties.

5 Responses

  1. Tom Yager

    If there are any states that should be sued for disenfranchising voters, it should be Iowa and New Hampshire. Every four years, they effectively cross candidates off the primary ballot in the other 48 states.

  2. In a more direct vein: OKlahoma is not OKW!

    Donald Raymond Lake

  3. Jim Riley

    At least according to the ‘Green Papers’ the Republican Party did not relent. It did permit the extra half of the delegates to sit on the floor as “honored guests” but did let them vote. In particular, it noted that the clerk announced that New Hampshire had 12 votes; when the delegation announced 24 votes for McCain, the clerk announced 12 votes for McCain. The roll call only shows 57 votes from Florida.

    Florida law does not require the political parties to use the primary to select delegates to the national convention. They could have selected the nominee directly.

    Florida should make this mandatory. There is no reason that Florida’s presidential electors should be chosen any differently than other state officers.

  4. Demo Rep

    Uniform definition of Elector-voter in all of the U.S.A.

    Abolish all party hack caucuses, primaries and conventions and the super-dangerous gerrymander timebomb Electoral College.

    Ballot access via equal nominating petitions.

    P.R. and nonpartisan A.V.

    Put the EVIL party hacks permanently OUT of business — i.e. send them to the political history junk yard along with divine right of kings and slavery.

  5. ETJB

    It depends. If the parties want to run their own primaries, then that means that probably should not be treated as ‘catch-all, big tents’.

    If that definition is going to be used, nothing wrong with it, then the argument that an Independent or minor party citizen is free to participate in either party’s primary falls flat on its face.

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