Statement by Jackie Salit
President of IndependentVoting.org
on The U.S. District Court Decision Ruling Idaho’s Open Primary System Unconstitutional
"The decision of the U.S. District Court today is a deep disappointment to the independent voters whose political rights are now seriously impaired. The Republican Party asked the court to give it the right to redesign Idaho's electoral process and relegate independents to the "no man’s land" of a closed primary system. The court gave them that right, in effect blurring the critical distinction between a public function, like elections, and the private interests of a political party. This is a dangerous precedent for our democracy. The entire process in the federal court reveals the conflicts inherent in this situation. First, the court allowed us, the independents, to be admitted as intervenors over the objections of the Republican Party, on the grounds that our interests deserved recognition and representation. But then the court negated those interests by allowing the Republican Party to run roughshod over them. We are in the process of assessing the decision and will decide what course to follow."