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Supreme Court Upholds Washington's 'Open' Primary

While many eyes in D.C. today were on the Supreme Court debate of the the District's gun ban, the high court also made some interesting election news, upholding the constitutionality of Washington state's unusual "open" primary system.

The court voted 7 to 2 to allow Washington to go forward with its new electoral structure, under which the top two vote-getters in the open primary advance to the general election, regardless of party. That means two Democrats or two Republicans could end up facing each other in November in a gubernatorial or congressional contest, with the other party left on the outside looking in.

Both the state Democratic party and the state GOP strongly opposed the new system, arguing that it deprived them of the right to pick their own nominees as they see fit. Rick Hasen, who writes the excellent Election Law Blog, called today's decision a "shocker." The new system was created after the 2004 election but has never actually been used, as it has faced repeated legal challenge and was struck down by a federal district court judge and a federal appeals court before the Supreme Court -- led by Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote for the majority -- upheld it today.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 18, 2008; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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The people spoke and said they did not like what the parties have to offer.

It's funny how the squeaky wheel gets all of the attention. The same can be said of when enough organizations or individuals let their views be heard. The 2008 election of candidates for the various parties for President have shown three new voices making a difference. Youth, African-Americans and Hispanics have been the voice not heard in the past. Voices whom were generally marginalized in what they thought.

Just as these once marginalized groups have shown their power and conveyed their voice, organizations do not need to stand by and accept business as usual.

Unless the elected party makes better choices on the issues. The people will further take action.

These cartoons depict just some of the issues this year that show government failure.

Posted by: robert guinto | March 19, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll
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New Weekly YouTube video!

Posted by: votenic | March 19, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Just think, the two major? parties do not control who will appear on the final ballot however the voters will! What an amazing concept. Perhaps its finally time to let go of the supposed majority parties, most voters are independents, and let the people decide who should represent them without all the back room deals that only prolong "Politics as usual". Now if only we could change the way our candidates for president are selected and let the citizens have some real choice.

Posted by: Not a party Man | March 20, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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