Persily on Supreme Court Ruling re Choosing N.Y. Judges

Nathaniel Persily’s Article Cited in Justice Kennedy’s Concurrence
Press contact:
James O’Neill 212-854-1584  Cell: 646-596-2935
January 16, 2008 (NEW YORK) – Columbia Law School Professor Nathaniel Persily, an expert on election law, can speak with journalists about today’s Supreme Court decision which upheld New York’s method for nominating and selecting judicial candidates. The case was New York Board of Elections v. Lopez Torres.
Prof. Persily says the decision could have far-reaching implications and is relevant to the 2008 presidential election. An article by Prof. Persily was cited by Justice Kennedy in his concurrence of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision.
Nathaniel Persily, Professor of Law, can be reached on his cell at 917-570-3223 or at [email protected].
``Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision upholding New York’s method for nominating and selecting judicial candidates was not a surprise,’’ Persily said. ``It was clear from the oral argument that the Justices did not give much weight to the argument that an individual candidate for judge has a constitutional right to have a democratic party nomination method.
``However, the implications of this decision could be far reaching and are relevant to the 2008 presidential election,’’ Persily said. ``Today’s case is the most recent in a series of cases from the Supreme Court upholding political parties’ first amendment rights over their nomination methods. It was also this right that has allowed the Democratic National Committee to refuse to seat any delegates from Florida at the 2008 convention because that state broke the deadlines by trying to have its primary election before February 5th. 
``The Court’s decision today suggests that the possible fight on the horizon -- over the injustice of failing to count the votes of entire states of people that could be determinative in selecting one or the other's party nominee -- is one that the parties will need to resolve themselves,’’ Persily said. ``The Court will not act to save the party from itself.’’
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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