Posted by Kellie Ryan on March 23, 2015 at 3:54 PM
South Carolina dismisses Greenville County Republican lawsuit to close primary elections
Since 2010, the South Carolina Greenville County Republican organization has been attempting to close the open primary system in South Carolina. The organization argued that open primaries allow non party members to choose a candidate, thus violating the organization's First Amendment right to free association. The North Carolina Republican Party withdrew from the lawsuit in 2013 before a the case went to trial.
Defendants of the open primary system, including the state of South Carolina and independentvoting.org filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit after the state Republican Party dropped out, arguing that the fight was actually between the Greenville Country Republican organization and the North Carolina Republican Party. The lawsuit was dismissed, but the South Carolina Greenville County Republican organization appealed.
Finally, on Tuesday, March 17 the dismissal was upheld and the open primary system in South Carolina remains.
Attorney Harry Kresky applauded the decision.
“The Court of Appeals wouldn’t allow a faction of the party – in this case the Greenville County Republican organization – to substitute its wishes for the position of the state Party and close the primary. In one party states like South Carolina, the primary of the dominant Republican Party can be the only opportunity African Americans have to cast an effective vote to protect their interests. This appeal preserves that important voting right”