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Contact: Julia Chapman, 914-740-2147,
Election Law Journal Offers Previews of Two Key Cases to Be Argued Next Week in U.S. Supreme Court

September 24, 2007, New Rochelle, NY--As the Supreme Court begins its new term on the first Monday in October, it will once again wade into the muddy waters of election law in two important cases previewed in the upcoming October 2007 issue of Election Law Journal.  "These cases could have an impact on the 2008 elections and well beyond, and the ELJ case previews by Joseph M. Birkenstock and Christopher S. Elmendorf clarify what's at stake in these complex and important cases," said Richard L. Hasen, co-editor of Election Law Journal.  Page proofs of both case previews are available on the journal's website,
          In Washington v. Washington State Republican Primary (oral argument, Monday October 1), the Court will consider whether states can require the nomination of candidates through primaries open to independent voters.  The preview of this case, "Did I-872 Take Washington State's Voters on an Unconstitutional Detour?: Partisanship in Primaries in Washington v. Washington State Republican Party," by Birkenstock, a former Chief Counsel to the Democratic National Committee and a member of Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd., explains that under the new Washington primary system, voters would vote for candidates who could decide which party label they want to put next to their names, even if the parties object. "This 'half-partisan' approach is novel and creative...But [it] poses a significant challenge to the rights of political parties to define the scope of their own association.”
          In N.Y. State Board of Elections v. Torres (oral argument, Wednesday, October 3), the Court will consider the constitutionality of New York's unique method for choosing nominees for trial court judges.  The preview of this case, "N.Y. State Bd. of Elections v. Torres: Is The Right to Vote a Constitutional Constraint on Partisan Nominating Conventions?," by Christopher S. Elmendorf, a law professor at the University of California at Davis, gives five different models the Court might adopt in considering the case and a variety of possible remedies.   Elmendorf sees the case as significant beyond New York, calling it "a case whose legal ramifications could prove as far reaching as its facts are peculiar."