Tashjian v. Republican Party
In Tashjian v. Republican Party, a 5–4 U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Connecticut statute that required closed primaries whereby only registered party members were eligible to vote in the party's primary.
Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote the decision for the Court:
- Appellee Republican Party of the State of Connecticut (Party) in 1984 adopted a Party rule which permits independent voters -- registered voters not affiliated with any political party -- to vote in Republican primaries for federal and statewide offices. Appellant Julia Tashjian, the Secretary of the State of Connecticut, is charged with the administration of the State's election statutes, which include a provision requiring voters in any party primary to be registered members of that party. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-431 (1985). Appellees, who in addition to the Party include the Party's federal officeholders and the Party's state chairman, challenged this eligibility provision on the ground that it deprives the Party of its First Amendment right to enter into political association with individuals of its own choosing. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of appellees. 599 F.Supp. 1228 (Conn. 1984). The Court of Appeals affirmed. 770 F.2d 265 (CA2 1985). We noted probable jurisdiction, 474 U.S. 1049 (1986), and now affirm.I
Tashjian v. Republican Party, 479 U.S. 208, 210-11, 107 S. Ct. 544, 546-47 (1986).