Election Law Expert Comments on Florida Primary Dispute

Election Law Expert Comments on Florida Primary Dispute
Press contact:
James O’Neill 212-854-1584 Cell: 646-596-2935
September 25, 2007 (NEW YORK) - Florida has decided to move its primary to January 29th in violation of Democratic National Committee rules. Columbia Law School Professor Nathaniel Persily, an expert on elections law, has written extensively about the autonomy rights of political parties and can field questions from journalists writing about this issue.
 Nathaniel Persily, Professor of Law, can be reached on his cell phone at 917-570-3223 or by e-mail at [email protected]
``The controversy between the Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee over the timing of the Florida primary is merely the latest chapter in ongoing struggles to define the bounds of a political party's autonomy over the process used to choose its nominees,’’ Persily said. ``The Supreme Court has been steadfast in protecting the right of the national parties to deny seats to delegates chosen in violation of party rules.
``The check on the national party, however, has always been more political than legal,’’ Persily said. ``It seems beyond the realm of possibility that, when push comes to shove, a nominee will deny Floridians a voice at the convention. The real issue is whether the Florida primary will have any effect on determining the momentum candidates have as they approach the unprecedented bonanza of primaries to be held on February 5th.’’
Nathaniel Persily, an expert on voting rights, election law, constitutional law, and American politics, has been a court-appointed expert for redistricting cases in Georgia, Maryland and New York, and has served as an expert witness or outside counsel in similar cases in California and Florida. He has an upcoming book on the Supreme Court.
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