Washington Post Carries Unconvincing Op-Ed Saying New Hampshire Can Keep Bernie Sanders Off the Primary Ballot

Former Congressman Charles Bass of New Hampshire has this op-ed in the Washington Post, predicting that New Hampshire election authorities will keep Bernie Sanders off the 2016 Democratic presidential primary ballot.

Bass probably doesn’t know that in 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court said in Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut that political parties have an right to nominate non-members if they wish. Clearly, if parties are free to nominate non-members, they certainly have a right to see to it that non-members are permitted to run in their primaries. It is true that the comments about political parties nominating non-members was only dicta. However, it is persuasive dicta, and it caused a state court in Colorado and a federal court in New Mexico to invalidate state laws barring candidates from primary ballots if they hadn’t been members of those parties long enough.

It is true the South Dakota Libertarian Party lost a lawsuit on this issue in 2014, but that is because the party’s own bylaws said the party only wishes to nominate members, so the party’s own bylaws sabotaged the party’s lawsuit.

The Republican Party nominated a Democrat for Vice-President in 1864, and there is reason to believe that when the Republican Party nominated Dwight Eisenhower for President in 1952, he was a registered independent in New York.


Washington Post Carries Unconvincing Op-Ed Saying New Hampshire Can Keep Bernie Sanders Off the Primary Ballot — 10 Comments

  1. I believe in New Hampshire he can declare he is a member of the Democratic Party at the time of his filing there. Of course the Democratic Party would likely accept it.

    Someone with standing might bring a lawsuit using evidence that he has not declared such in the U.S. Senate and point out the incongruity of that.

    It is possible that such legal tactic might be used even, knowing it is likely to be unsuccessful, to tie up his precious resources for a few days.

    Given the number of articles already in existance on this, one tactic may simply be to hammer away at this in the media simply to cast doubt.

  2. You will recall that the Texas Democratic Party denied Dennis Kucinich a place on the 2008 primary ballot because of his unwillingness to pledge to support the eventual nominee of the party.

    I think different rules must apply for presidential candidates, since it is illegal for most of them to actually be a member of a party in New Hampshire since they don’t actually live there.

  3. “Someone with standing to bring a lawsuit …” That could be a problem for Sanders. It seems to me that the dicta and holdings Richard cites are based on the fact that the restriction violates the rights of the parties involved, not (at least not necessarily) the rights of the candidates. So it might turn out that the New Hampshire Democratic Party would have to be the (or at least a) plaintiff. And they might or might not want Sanders in their primary.

  4. Oh this is really easy. Bernie can tell them, “Fine, I guess I will just have to run as independent in the general election.”

  5. Michigan Voter- That is a LOT more difficult than it sounds!

  6. I know it is. I am saying it somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Like they should be thankful he is running within the primary and not outside. I thought when Nader ran his sin was trying to create a progressive alternative outside the DNC. Sanders is being a good boy and working within the system.

    The threat of running third party exceeds the threat of him actually winning the nomination, so it would be foolish for the DNC to play these types of games with him.

  7. Why? The longer they toy with him the less time he has to mount a serious independent threat. The clock is ticking for petition drives.

  8. The earliest independent presidential petition deadline for 2016 is the Texas deadline, in May 2016. All the others range from June thru September 2016.

    John Anderson didn’t declare as an independent until April 24, 1980, and he got on the ballot in all states. And the deadlines are better now than they were back then, thanks to his winning the US Supreme Court case Anderson v Celebrezze.

  9. Both major gangs have ARMIES of robot hack lawyers — to stop ALL Divide and Conquer machinations.

    i.e. The USA regime has LOTS of ANTI-Democracy wannabee monarchs and oligarchs trying to CONTROL the USA regime budget — now about $$$ 4-5 TRILLION.

  10. I recall that in 1968 the Democratic Party of Alabama went to
    the AIP convention and not the Democratic Party convention.
    Each state party has there own rules. A good posting would
    be the rules of each of the parties by states.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Chairman,
    American Independent Party of California

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