On March 31, South Carolina election officials filed their Fourth Circuit brief in Greenville County Republican Party v Way, 13-2170. The issue whether the Greenville County Republican Party has standing to challenge state laws that require parties to nominate by open primary, unless three-fourths of the party’s convention delegates approve using a convention and unless the voters who vote in that open primary also approve switching to a convention.
The government brief insists that the Greenville County Republican Party does not have standing to challenge the open primary, because the state Republican Party is not a co-plaintiff. The government does not mention the U.S. Supreme Court opinion San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee v Eu, in which various county organizations of the Democratic Party, and a single county organization of the Republican Party, won a lawsuit against California election laws that told parties how to structure themselves, and told them they could not endorse candidates in their own primaries.
The Greenville County Republican Party also complains that even when it pays for its own municipal primaries, it is still required to open its primary to all voters, not just party members. But the government’s brief says South Carolina law lets parties nominate by convention in municipal elections, so the party isn’t being required to hold a city primary.