Shared Flashcard Set


Quiz 2
Political Studies
Undergraduate 4

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




Democratic Party v. Wisconsin ex rel. La Follette, 450 U.S. 107 (1981)
Background: The national Democratic Party refused to allow delegates to the Convention from states that had open primaries, leading them to ban the Wisconsin delegates. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the National Party must admit the delegates since Wisconsin had a "compelling interest" to maintain the "open" feature of its primary system.

Opinion: 6-3, Justice Stewart- "First Amendment freedom to gather in association for the purpose of advancing shared beliefs is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from infringement by any State." DNC is not trying to dictate how Wisconsin can run its affairs—just whether its delegates can be seated at national convention. Freedom of association also means freedom to not associate with

Dissent: Justice Powell- argued that Wisconsin's "compelling interest" to involve non-affiliated voters in the primary justified this burden on the freedom of association. IE. Increase turnout for primaries without causing substantial effects on the results. Partisanship and even party ideologies are not fixed
Tashjian v. Republican Party of CT, 479 U.S. 208 (1986)
Background: Connecticut statute requires voters in a primary to be registered members of that party. In 1984, the state GOP adopted a rule that permits independents to vote in Republican primaries for federal and statewide offices, suing the state on the grounds that it deprives the Party of its right under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to enter into political association with individuals of its own choosing.

Opinion: The possibility of increases in the cost of administering the election system is not a sufficient basis for infringing appellees' First Amendment rights. Even if the State were correct in arguing that in providing for a closed primary system, is designed to save the Party from undertaking conduct destructive of its own interests, the State may not constitutionally substitute its judgment for that of the Party. Too great an infringement on “associational rights” of party strict scrutiny.

Dissent: Not a severe infringement of “associational rights”. Violation of Article I, section 2 (voting for Congress)—who can “chuse”? Must be symmetric. State gets to choose in congress but not primaries?
Foster v. Love, 522 U.S. 67 (1997)
Background: Louisiana voters brought action against state officials, alleging illegality under federal election law of state open primary system of conducting congressional elections. Louisiana ‘non partisan primary’. If no one wins with 50%+1, runoff at general election. BUT, if a majority primary winner, no general election is held for that office. Respondents, Louisiana voters, challenged this primary as a violation of federal law.

Decision:court held that Louisiana's statute conflicts with federal law to the extent that it is applied to select a congressional candidate in October
Congress authorizes (under Elections Clause of
Constitution) general election in November—can’t not have one
Hint of “vote dilution” argument—burden on voters to potentially participate twice for fear of not participating at all.
Congress was concerned both with the distortion of the voting process threatened when the results of an early federal election in one State can influence later voting in other States,
effects on November elections in other states
Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas join in majority, but reject arguments 2 and 3 (much like Ct. dissent—Constitution)
Smith v. Allwright , 321 U.S. 649 (1944)
Background: A resolution of the Democratic Party of Texas, a group that the Texas Supreme Court had deemed a "voluntary association," allowed only whites to participate in Democratic primary elections. S.S. Allwright was a county election official; he denied Lonnie E. Smith, a black man, the right to vote in the 1940 Texas Democratic primary.

Decision: particularly in one party South, primary is tantamount to general election. Denying blacks the right to vote in only consequential election dilutes the impact of their vote, violates 14th (15th) Amendment
Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee, 48 U.S. 214 (1989)
Background: Party endorsements-State law prevents them because of concern over undue influence (RB). California elections code forbids the official governing bodies of political parties to endorse or oppose candidates in primary elections, while and makes it a misdemeanor for any candidate in a primary to claim official party endorsement.Code provisions deprived parties and their members of the rights of free speech and free association guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Decision: The challenged California election laws are invalid, since they burden the First Amendment rights of political parties and their members without serving a compelling state interest. The goal of protecting the party against itself would not justify a State's substituting its judgment for that of the party.
California Democratic Party v. Jones, 530 U.S. 567 (2000)
Background: Action was brought challenging constitutionality of California proposition (prop 198) which converted State's primary election from closed to blanket primary in which voters could vote for any candidate regardless of voter's or candidate's party affiliation

Decision: : Even if intended to increase participation… Technique was “severe and unnecessary”
Associational Rights of Party once again sustained over state interest
3 in majority dissented in Tashjian but reason does not apply here (Art I, sect 2, “chusing” symmetry)
More importantly—Scalia states that a “nonpartisan” primary would serve same purpose without directly allowing the “hijacking” of a party’s own primary. But, just applies to blanket, not necessarily all open
Dissent: state pays for primary, thus this is a state function
Unlike Tashjian where state chose to “decrease” participation – Rational Basis
Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party 552 U.S. 442 (2008)
Background: The State of Washington reconstructed its primary election system according to Initiative 872. The initiative was endorsed by the Washington State Grange and created a new "modified blanket primary" system where each candidate on the ballot could affiliate with the party of his choosing regardless of whether the party approved of his candidacy. Political parties claimed that this system violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of free association

Decision: As “party preference” listing refers only to party they wish to be associated with, not nominees of (as parties cannot prevent associational listing). Electorate is “well informed” enough to see distinction
Dissent: Kennedy
dissenting, Argue “party associational rights” are infringed. State needs more than rational basis test
Colegrove v. Green, 328 U.S. 549 (1946)
Background: Illinois had not redrawn congressional or state legislative districts since 1901. Colegrove argued that the congressional districts "lacked compactness of territory and approximate equality of population."

Decision: Not an issue of justiciability, but Frankfurter declined to involve the Court in the districting process, arguing that the political nature of apportionment precluded judicial intervention. "The remedy for unfairness in districting is to secure State legislatures that will apportion properly, or to invoke the ample powers of Congress."

Dissent: Black—violates 14th Amendment EPC and 1st Amendment (elect by people)...1/2 vote not = to 1 vote • =equality of vote (dilution), not just ability. “political remedy” will never come as state legislators, who make these decisions, benefit from malapportionment
Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962)
Background: Much like Colegrove, Tennessee had not redrawn district lines since 1901 (all plans had failed)
Great disparities in population (also like Colegrove)
But, unlike Colegrove & like Smith, there are other considerations …
You can put race into the equation… And a change of members (Supreme Court partisanship?)

Decision: Brennan concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection issues which Baker and others raised in this case merited judicial evaluation.

Dissent: Colegrove argument, “right to vote” does not imply “equality of vote”
Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964)
Background: The Alabama Constitution prescribed that each county was entitled to at least one representative and that there were to be as many senatorial districts as there were senators. Population variance ratios of as great as 41-to-1 existed in the Senate.

Opinion: (8-to-1) upheld the challenge to the Alabama system, holding that Equal Protection Clause demanded "no less than substantially equal state legislative representation for all citizens...." the Court held that both houses of bicameral state legislatures had to be apportioned on a population basis. States were required to put "honest and good faith" efforts to construct districts as nearly of equal population as practicable.
Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964)
Nackground: The Fifth Congressional District, of which Wesberry was a member, had a population two to three times larger than some of the other districts in the state. Wesberry claimed this system diluted his right to vote compared to other Georgia residents.

Opinion: The Court recognized that "no right is more precious" than that of having a voice in elections and held that "[t]o say that a vote is worth more in one district than in another would not only run counter to our fundamental ideas of democratic government

Dissent: “These appellants have no right to the judicial relief which they seek. It goes without saying that it is beyond the province of this Court to decide whether equally populated districts is the preferable method for electing Representatives... It is clear that there is no constitutional right at stake, that ends the case.”
Kirkpatrick v. Pressler, 394 U.S. 526 (1969)
Background: Missouri's 1967 congressional redistricting statute created districts which varied from the ideal. Found that legislature had not relied on the census reports, but used less accurate data, that it had rejected a plan with smaller variances

Decision: (6-3) Justice Brennan “In any event, Missouri's claim of compactness is based solely upon the unaesthetic appearance of the map of congressional boundaries that would result from an attempt to effect some of the changes in district lines which, according to the lower court, would achieve greater equality. A State's preference for pleasingly shaped districts can hardly justify population variances.”
Davis v. Bandemer, 478 U.S. 109 (1986)
Background: Partisan gerrymander by Indiana GOP for state legislature. Democrats sue on basis of 14th Amendment EPC and SCOTUS movement towards “one person, one vote”
Decision: 7-2 (sort of)
GROUP ONE: Pro Indiana, jurisdiction & justiciability. However, Indiana gerrymander is not critical enough. Those that vote for the losing candidate are not devoid of power as a whole (limit, not prohibit).
GROUP TWO: Pro Indiana (full seven majority). Think issue is NOT justiciable.
GROUP THREE: Group 1 isn’t specific, this might warrant EPC.
Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267 (2004)
Background: Pennsylvania was required to decrease its amount of representatives by two. In redistricting to reflect this change, prominent members of the Republican Party pressured the General Assembly into enacting a pro-Republican redistricting plan. This plan was ultimately passed by the Pennsylvania governor as Act I. Vieth brought suit to enjoin the implementation of Act I in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Opinion: partisan gerrymandering is still justiciable (no
majority against) but no standard has ever been
acceptable. Choose not to decide on this case

Dissent: Need to find solution for such egregious political gerrymandering
Gaffney v. Cummings, 412 U.S. 735 (1973)
State legislative districts need not be as equal (not an Article I, but
only a 14th amendment consideration) 1.7-7.9% variance
• Census is an “event” measuring population at a particular time
• No reason to deny “non partisan” panel the ability to try to use
proportional representation by party as a guideline
• Subsequent cases allow for continuity, boundary retention, etc.—
• Wyoming as much as 89% variance
Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725 (1983)
Gaffney allowed large variances for some states but disallows .7% CD variation in New Jersey because State did not make a “good faith” effort since other more equitable plans were proposed
Recent Pennsylvania Court Decision on Redistricting
PA Supreme Court invalidates latest redistricting as in violation
of the state constitution

State needs to come up with amore partisanly equitable plan
before 2018 election…or court will commission one
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