On March 28, the Washington Republican Party asked the U.S. District Court that first heard the case against the “top-two” system, to let the party file an amended complaint in that same case.
The U.S. Supreme Court on March 18 had ruled that the “top-two” system does not violate the associational rights of political parties on its face, but had left the door open to new lawsuits against the system on other grounds, and also left the door open to a renewal of the associational argument “as applied.”
The Republican Party seeks to revise its original complaint, to make two new points: (1) the advertising in favor of the “Top-Two” initiative was false; (2) that in practice, the system will confuse voters into thinking that candidates listed on the ballot as preferring the Republican Party are actually representing the Republican Party.
The first point depends on the fact that the Washington Supreme Court recently invalidated another initiative that had passed, on the grounds that the advertising for it was false and misleading.
The amended Republican Party complaint about false advertising for the initiative specifically targets the pro-“top-two” advertising that claimed that the initiative would not affect the ability of minor parties to place nominees on the November ballot. There was a great deal of confusion about this during the campaign for “top-two” in 2004. In fact, even the text of the initiative itself contradicted itself on this point. Thanks to Richard Shepard for this news.