U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Utah GOP appeal of candidate nomination law

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  • kvs West Jordan, UT
    March 5, 2019 10:33 a.m.

    I have chaired precinct caucus meetings a number of times over the years and it became clear to me that the meeting scripts and instructions were constructed to create a pep rally atmosphere rather than to gather as neighbors and discuss issues. So when I chaired, we created our own meeting script and invited discussion of issues - and invited candidates for delegate positions to share their stands on those issues. We thus avoided the clandestine delegate-packing that has given us Senator Lee and others who now work against the voters.

    The argument that SB54 is unconstitutional is a ruse to avoid giving all party members representation. Keep My Vote is a ruse to Consolidate My Power. The caucus-convention system can be a positive resource, along with the primary system, if the Keep My Vote folks will allow it to be.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    March 5, 2019 10:08 a.m.

    @shancock writes,

    "I’m also frustrated by Senator Lee’s comments again. He doesn’t seem interested in working through issues. It is his way or no way. It is not what we need in a senator right now."

    Very true. We also don't need that in a president.

  • shancock Lehi, UT
    March 5, 2019 9:41 a.m.

    This is why a really struggle with the Utah GOP. They need to get in line with the majority of Utah Republicans. The Utah United Party and the Democractic party in Utah respect my ability to choose candidates more than the Utah Republican Party.

    I’m also frustrated by Senator Lee’s comments again. He doesn’t seem interested in working through issues. It is his way or no way. It is not what we need in a senator right now.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2019 8:17 a.m.

    "While it is unfortunate the SCOTUS did not accept the case, it does not mean they agree with the previous ruling."

    And it doesnt mean they disagree with it either, 'captain'. LOL.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    March 5, 2019 7:59 a.m.

    Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney writes,

    "A pity this large sum of money wasn't spent or donated to the education of children instead of this foolishness by the GOP hierarchy."

    The idea that the GOP would give a fig leaf about children, let alone donate money to educate them, is laughable.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2019 7:43 a.m.

    Too bad. The Republican good ole boys like to choose candidates, not the pesky voters that don't know what's good for them.

    Mike Lee, Utah's top self proclaimed constitutional scholar should have seen this coming. After all, he knows more about the constitution than anyone. Isn't that why he went to DC? To show those rubes back there how the constitution works?

    Now, this fiasco was brought about by the party of fiscal responsibility, so who pays for the costs of their ill fated joust at windmills?

    Do taxpayers get stuck paying for their folly, or the Republican party?

  • Susan Quinton Draper, UT
    March 5, 2019 2:50 a.m.

    Granny, we serve in our local republican caucus, but in reality most of us are turning independent and are happy about Count My Vote. The Keep My Voice folks are few, and the majority don’t care about volunteering 200 plus hours each year in a caucus system that doesn’t represent the people. After the last 16 hour disaster of a state meeting, half of our caucus quit and the other half would like to quit as well. Sigh.

  • cy1951 Arlington, VA
    March 4, 2019 11:19 p.m.

    To “Captain Green” of Heber City, who argues that “private parties” such as the GOP have 1st Amendment rights to do as they please in selecting candidates to stand in public elections: read US Supreme Court’s 1944 decision Smith v. Allright, declaring that state political parties violated the Constitution when they “did as they pleased” to bar blacks from participating in state party primary election, effectively disenfranchising citizens. A political party that selects candidates for public office cannot just “do as it pleases” in that process. A myopic view of 1st Amendment rights as expressed in your letter to the editor, can be corrected to a clearer vision through the lense of education. Even if you feel really strongly about the reach of the Constitution, such feelings, which you certainly have a right to retain, cannot trump the law of the land as expressed clearly by the Supreme Court. Informed opinions, grounded on a solid foundation built through education — that is, by reading and learning — promote civic and civil discourse. Uninformed expressions of passion and myth, on the other hand, undermine our community and harden our political differences.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 4, 2019 8:58 p.m.

    I saw how Mike Lee subverted our caucus in our neighborhood. The caucus didn’t have a good process to verify participants until the next caucus. There were probably twice as many attendees than normal and Senator Bennett was surprisingly ousted. The next neighborhood caucuses had rolls of people to verify and validate actual registration and used IDs to ensure actual neighbors eligible to vote.

    The various county and the the state convention processes have gone to some validation but then use electronic tabulation with little clickers.

    The state committee approved these without valid security processes as compared to the voting judges and verification. This was done to speed up the process.

    There were periodic glitches. The same people keep on getting elected at caucus conventions.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    March 4, 2019 8:18 p.m.

    Captian Green 'It is a sad day for Utah if Mob Rule such as Count My Vote prevails!" ... what are you expecting to happen next. The Utah Republicans will appeal the decision to not hear the case? They will say double please?

    "And we need to stay that way! It is a sad day for Utah if Mob Rule such as Count My Vote prevails! "

    As of right now, that is exactly what has happened...

    The issue here is the state's republican party has spoken, and the voters spoke back, in two ways. The republicans lost a seat in the house. The republicans were also out fund raised in Utah by the democrats. And finally the fastest growing voting block in utah, by huge percentages, are independents.

    The Utah party is loosing the hearts of the voters... and their continuing to attack the will of he people is turning more and more off in the state. Less than half of the states votes are Republican. Almost 40% are independent voters. Disenfranchising those voters.... not a good idea.

    Democrats with only 13% of the voters raised more this last election than Republicans with 46% of the voters....

  • dski Herriman, UT
    March 4, 2019 8:11 p.m.

    Identify those politicians who voted for this law and vote them out. Problem solved!

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    March 4, 2019 5:58 p.m.

    While it is unfortunate the SCOTUS did not accept the case, it does not mean they agree with the previous ruling. Count My Vote and SB54 are clear violations of a private institution's (Political Party) right to select their nominees for an election any way they see fit. No one (including the State) can dictate that to a private party. The 1st Amendment protected right of free speech and association clearly means the GOP can pick their candidates as they choose. The Utah Legislature has an obligation to repeal SB54 and disregard the Count My Vote initiative, which is nothing less than Mob Rule. We are a Representative Republic... NOT a Democracy! And we need to stay that way! It is a sad day for Utah if Mob Rule such as Count My Vote prevails! What will be the next freedom to be taken away?!

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    March 4, 2019 5:37 p.m.

    "Let us no longer pit ourselves against one another," he said in a statement. "Instead, let us strengthen our party from within."

    I think this ship has already sailed, and apparently it was the good ship Titanic. The Republican Party is seriously fractured in Utah, and the country, and there will be little attempted to repair the damage. Those on the far right will continue to search for ways to ensure far right candidates are the only option. They will protect the favorite children in any way they can. Those in the middle, can rejoice for a time, but will still not be accepted in the party.

    I suspect this will weaken the United Utah party for a time and perhaps even kill it. Those that want to hide their works will continue to do so, it will just be a bit more difficult now.

  • Granny Saint George, UT
    March 4, 2019 5:17 p.m.

    I guess I have a different view from most of you.

    I enjoyed the caucus meetings because my neighbors and I worked hard to get everyone out, actively asking for their opinions and concerns. It's truly the grassroots—neighborhoods deciding together, supporting the decision made and being part of the process. Then those elected were accountable to those neighbors. Our precinct took it seriously. We had to agree to disagree on occasion, but we are a stronger and more unified neighborhood because of it.

    For those who chose not to participate, it was their loss and their choice.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    March 4, 2019 5:01 p.m.

    The Gadiantons took a beating on this one.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2019 4:34 p.m.

    So is the Utah GOP Going to pay the states court costs for defending the law against their fools errand? Asking for a friend...

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2019 4:00 p.m.

    Hooray! It is beyond time to end the 'good old boys at the Alta club' getting to pick all our representatives.

  • RockOn1224 Spanish Fork, UT
    March 4, 2019 3:45 p.m.

    RIP caucus system. Sad, but it is now. When a politician doesn't have to answer questions from representative delegates it frees them up make TV ads. A blow to representative democracy at its purest form and the neighborhood level.

  • Maverick10 Taylorsville, UT
    March 4, 2019 3:43 p.m.

    Yes, Yes, and forever Yes. The Central Committee of the Utah Republican Party is defeated. There is justice in the US. I am so excited to seem them defeated. This committee thinks that they should be the last and only voice for the People in the State of Utah. How wrong they are. Hopefully the people will one day have a voice in Utah again. Soon; I hope.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    March 4, 2019 2:48 p.m.

    But, but, but . . . . I thought trump was going to Make The Court Great Again by stuffing it with justices who think like conservatives think they should think.

    What went wrong ?

  • Big Blue Payson, UT
    March 4, 2019 1:47 p.m.

    "Don Guymon of the Utah GOP's Constitutional Defense Committee .... said he believes the 10th Circuit Court ruling ... would "imperil" rights of assembly, speech for political parties, labor unions, private universities and religious organizations..." SMOKESCREEN!!! What he is really upset about is that the power he and his pals have enjoyed wielding in Utah politics was just made null & void! No longer can a few tell everyone else what they must do! WAAAH!

    Joseph Smith knew this many years ago when he recorded, "We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, AS THEY SUPPOSE, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion..." (D&C 21:39)

    Well that is what this has been all about. What they couldn't control by public fiat, they decided to control by the exercise of unrighteous dominion. And now they have lost their "cloak of invisibility" and their works are now forced into the daylight for all to see, the EDUCATED PUBLIC realizes that this was all a sham to keep a few in power at the expense of the many. Well, I think the "many" are about to start kicking butts and taking names.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    March 4, 2019 1:07 p.m.

    Typical single party rule....

    Utah Republicans really don't care or "represent" the people of Utah.

    1st it was this, trying to over turn "Count My Vote" initiative.

    Then, they ignored and iver ride 4 initiatives last November:

    Taxing gasoline for roads (for the children)
    Medical Marijuana
    Medicaid expansion
    Redrawing Districts

    Self serving, autocracy

    There must be an opposition in ALL things...

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    March 4, 2019 12:58 p.m.

    This is a definite loss and possible death to grassroots politics where neighbors (a precinct) get together, discuss issues and candidates (caucus), and decide on who will best represent their neighborhood at the conventions. It is grassroots - not a small group of "party oligarchs"

    It is a definite win for the established and wealthy political aspirants who can afford to buy votes (signatures) with the most TV time or other flashy media.

    The caucus process is for a Party Members to select their candidate. It is for those willing to get involved at the grassroots

    Example: Rob Bishop was able to get the support he needed and work through the caucus system even though he was a school teacher. Mitt Romney was able to gather the signatures using a much bigger, most costly political machine (he did not need to do that as he had name recognition and trust of the party already and won coming out of the convention as well)

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 4, 2019 12:57 p.m.

    The last thing we need is the voters actually deciding who gets on the ballot.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    March 4, 2019 12:27 p.m.

    I’m Republican and think the Rs are dead wrong on this one. Good ol’ boy politics stinks. I like having the right to choose my candidate for the general election and not some backroom deal doing it.

  • Wasatch Al South Jordan, UT
    March 4, 2019 12:22 p.m.

    Looks like Mike Lee will actually have to get out and campaign to be re-elected rather than getting elected by the caucus.

    First thing might be to study the constitution more and realize there are three branches of government and a thing called balance of power. Trump isn’t two of the three branches.

  • AlagnakLounger Heber City, UT
    March 4, 2019 12:03 p.m.

    The caucus convention system was always destined to fail as long as participation rates continued to plummet. As participation fell over the years, extreme factions saw an opening to hi jack the system. Once the radicals had gained substantial control, there was no incentive to get the “average” party member out to attend and participate in their local caucus meetings; quite the opposite in fact. The spiral continued until the big donors to the republican party had had enough and Count My Vote was born.

    Just remember that this all started because “average” voters, at least on the republican side, stoped participating in the caucus process and instead preferred, for better or worse, the direct primary system. I guess all those letters read over the pulpit to participate in local caucus meetings didn’t really help.

  • The Dark Knight Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2019 11:14 a.m.

    I think the Keep My Voice people are either seriously misunderstanding or seriously distorting the constitutional principles they claim are being violated here. I see the same problem with them as with the Utah legislature: they seem to think a political party or state means its powerful leaders, not the the regular people in it..

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    March 4, 2019 10:53 a.m.

    Surprising, Lee is proven to be on the wrong side . . . AGAIN!

  • rsrino Orem, UT
    March 4, 2019 10:48 a.m.

    I don't get why anyone is opposed to people qualifying for a ballot outside of the caucus process. I have lived in California and Connecticut where the voters selected people via primary elections. The caucus system is a good old boys thing. I went to my caucus meeting last election and was BORED out of my mind. It encourages the same small group of people to decide for everyone. The caucus should be eliminated and we should go to a primary system where people collect signatures to get on the ballot.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 4, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    So the people not solely the party get to a role in deciding the candidates we see on the ballot. And that's a bad thing for Senator Lee and Rob Bishop?

  • Hank1950 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2019 9:58 a.m.

    I believe the courts are correct after all that’s how the best people got in office including Representative Curtis and Senator Romney. Governor Herbert is right, do not challenge this law. This is a warning for those in the legislator who might now wish to overturn this law. We the people are watching. We do not want a small group of self appointed oligarchs who think the know better than everyone else tell us who we have a right to vote for. We are just as intelligent as they are if not more so.

  • A W Benjamin, UT
    March 4, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    @Latuva: Political parties enjoy privileges that other private organizations do not, such as:

    * Having a label next to their preferred candidates' names on the taxpayer-funded ballot

    * The ability to choose all the state's presidential electors if their nominee gets a plurality of the votes in the presidential general election

    * Privileges in legislative rules regarding selection of leadership, committee assignments, etc. when that party controls a majority of seats in the chamber

    These publicly funded privileges come at a reasonable price: a political party must adhere to certain platform-neutral regulations imposed by the state to protect the public interest.

    One of those regulations is provided by SB54: that in addition to any other nomination process the party may wish to use, it must allow its general membership a way to get a candidate nominated through signature gathering. This protects the public interest by promoting widespread participation in the political process by all party members, not a cadre of insiders and party bosses.

    The Supreme Court did the right thing here. The GOP needs to move on.

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    March 4, 2019 9:41 a.m.

    A pity this large sum of money wasn't spent or donated to the education of children instead of this foolishness by the GOP hierarchy.

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    March 4, 2019 9:35 a.m.

    Voter supression will not be endorsed by the SCOTUS...at least in this case.


    The republicans can do whatever they want... in Utah.

    Why go to such great lengths to be ignored by their celebrated sure thing right-wing 5-4 majority SCOTUS?

    Maybe the sure thing is not a sure thing?

    One can only hope.

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    March 4, 2019 9:31 a.m.

    Voter supression will not be endorsed by the SCOTUS...at least in this case.


    The republicans can do whatever they want... in Utah.

    Why go to such great lengths to be ignored by their celebrated sure thing right-wing 5-4 majority SCOTUS?

    Maybe the sure thing is not a sure thing?

    One can only hope.

  • Latuva Benjamin, UT
    March 4, 2019 9:05 a.m.

    This is an unfortunate turn. States and groups may now dictate how private organizations organize (political and not) - even if such persons are not actively involved. Glad for the many Friends of the Court support even as this turn is surprising.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    March 4, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    Utah's Republican party really doesn't like voters being able to work around them, do they?

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    March 4, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    Lee is just as bad of an attorney, as he is a senator. He doesn't seem to know what is constitutional; is very bad arguing his case; and doing anything worthwhile, but on a positive note, he is good at driving UP the national debt.

    We need a competent senator who will stand up to Trump. Lee doesn't seem to know that the nation's interests in maintaining three-equal branches of government is more important than rolling-over to the president.

    Lee, Trump will not appoint you to be a judge, no matter how much you kowtow to him.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    March 4, 2019 8:34 a.m.

    How much money was wasted in this yet another attempt by the Republican establishment to restrict access and voter choice. Hopefully this puts an end to this tom foolery.

    Now, Republicans, rather than spending so much time trying to figure how to restrict the voters choice, why not spend more time on policy that appeals to the average voter, represent rather than reinforce partisanship, win over peoples hearts and faith through diligent representation. Try earning votes rather than preventing those who you don't represent from having a voice.

    Glad this is done.

  • The Great Helmsman Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2019 8:31 a.m.


  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 4, 2019 8:19 a.m.

    There's a reason why the Utah Republican Party is broke. They can't manage their finances and continue to waste money on court battles trying to undermine the voters decisions. But, they still get elected to govern our State. Vote differently.