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ACLU files lawsuit challenging South Carolina election rule

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Thursday filed a lawsuit [materials; press release] challenging a so-called "sore loser" election law [SC Code Ann. § 7-11-10 text] in South Carolina. Under the law, a candidate that seeks a nomination from multiple parties will be banned from appearing on the ballot if any one of those parties rejects his candidacy. The ACLU is representing Eugene Platt [campaign website], a candidate for the state House who won the endorsement of the Green Party but not the Democratic Party. The South Carolina Election Commission [official website] blocked Platt from running as the Green Party candidate. The ACLU argues that the "sore loser" law violates the right to free association guaranteed by the First Amendment [text] of the US Constitution. The Post and Courier has local coverage. The Fort Mill Times has additional coverage.

In January, the ACLU of Michigan [advocacy website] filed a federal suit challenging a Michigan election law [JURIST report] that limited access to information on presidential primary voters to the Democratic and Republican parties. The complaint [text, PDF] alleged that Section 615c [text] of the Michigan Election Law [text] was unconstitutional because it excludes other smaller parties, as well as individuals, citizen groups and news media, from seeing lists of voter preferences and gives preference only to the two major parties in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Fourteenth Amendment [Cornell Law backgrounders]. In March, a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] the Michigan law.

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