Supreme Court Press Release
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From the South Carolina Libertarian Party
April 25, 2014 “Was the Supreme Court Decision a Loss? No Candidates cannot be removed.”
The media has been reporting the Appellate Case 2014-000775 in the South Carolina Supreme Court between the Libertarian Party and the State Election Commission as a loss to the Libertarian Party. It is far from a loss to the Parties that Nominate Candidates by Convention. ACT 61 passed in 2013 was ambiguous in language (another bad law brought to you by the South Carolina Legislature). SECTION 7 11 30 is the law on how candidates are selected. “A party may choose to nominate candidates for all offices including, but not limited to, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, United States Senator, United States House of Representatives, Circuit Solicitor, State Senator, and members of the State House of Representatives if: 1. there is a three fourths vote of the total membership of the convention to use the convention nomination process. 2. AND a majority of voters in that party’s next primary election approve the use of the convention nomination process.” There is nothing in this law to say that is only to apply to the Republicans and Democrats as was interpreted by the Attorney General November 12, 2013. With only an opinion from the Attorney General it was open to decision by the judicial system. Candidates nominated by conventions in 2014 could have been removed from the ballot as in 2012 by a court decision.
Now with the “incorrect decision of the Supreme Court” yes I said incorrect, a candidate’s access to the ballot by nomination by convention process cannot be challenged. South Carolina law 7-11 established only party can determine the method of candidate selection and the Election commission violated the party rights by refusing a Primary as requested by the Libertarian Party. But in turn the Court with this ruling is allowing the Libertarian party and parties that nominate by convention to violate the changes created in law by ACT 61.
In the 2012-211366 decision that removed candidates from the ballot. The court interpreted the law as “We hold the unambiguous language and expression of legislative intent.” This ruling in 2014 the courts interpretation was “Based on well-established rules of statutory construction, we conclude that the General Assembly intended the new requirement of a primary referendum in section 7-11-30 to apply only to parties seeking to abandon the open primary method of nominating candidates in favor of the closed convention method.” The difference is that in 2012 it was an “unquestionable mandate” and in 2014 it is “General Assembly intended”. If the court would have made this interpretation in 2012, 250 candidates would not have been removed from the ballot.
In closing the Court knew that a ruling that followed the letter of the law like the ruling in 2012 would have removed 731 candidates from the ballot. Well you decide if you were on the bench and you were appointed by the legislative representatives, not elected by voters, would you be removing them from the ballot? Would you stand on the law or the Good Ole Boy System?
Contact: Michael Carmany
South Carolina Libertarian Party Chairman: (864) 933-2679
P.O. Box 291383 Columbia, SC 29229 e-mail Chairman@sclp.org