Clingman v. Beaver
United States Supreme Court
544 U.S. 581 (2005)
Oklahoma election laws provided for a semi-closed primary system, under which only a political party’s members or registered Independents may vote in that party’s primary. The Libertarian Party of Oklahoma (LPO) (plaintiff) wanted to open its primary to all voters, regardless of political party. The secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board declined the LPO’s request with regard to voters from other political parties. The LPO and certain Democrat and Republican Party members brought suit, alleging that the secretary’s ruling violated their First Amendment freedom of association rights. The plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma upheld the election law and the secretary’s decision. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)
Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
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