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Utah wants judge to rule in GOP’s lawsuit over “Count My Vote” compromise

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-21 18:56:02-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Attorney General’s Office has asked a federal judge to dismiss the Utah Republican Party’s lawsuit over the so-called “Count My Vote” compromise law.

In the latest legal filing over Senate Bill 54, the Utah Attorney General’s Office claimed both the Utah GOP and the Constitution Party of Utah have failed to show how the law is unconstitutional. The state has filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the judge to rule immediately and dismiss the case.

“Plaintiffs have not presented any evidence in support of their claims that the statute severely burdens their First Amendment rights of free association; 2) the statute does not force the parties to associate with non-party members and, thus, does not severly burden the Parties’ constitutional rights,” assistant Utah Attorney General David Wolf wrote.

The filing included a pair of letters sent by the Utah GOP and the Constitution Party declaring that they had complied with the law. The political parties will get a chance to respond before the judge makes a decision.

The Utah Republican Party sued the state over SB54, which creates an alternative path for candidates to get on the ballot beyond the caucus/convention system the parties prefer, if the candidate gathers enough signatures. It was an alternative crafted by the legislature in response to the ballot drive known as “Count My Vote.”

The Utah GOP has claimed that SB54 violates its right to free association under the First Amendment and has asked a judge to declare the law unconstitutional.

Read the filing here: