Independents Can Be Barred From Voting In A Party Primary

1986

The Connecticut Republican Party adopts a rule that permits independent voters (those not affiliated with any party) to vote in Republican primaries for federal and statewide offices. The party then challenges a Connecticut law that requires voters to register with a party before voting in its primary. In Tashjian v. Republican Party, the Supreme Court finds that the law denies the party and its members the right to freedom of association by limiting the number of registered voters whom the party may invite to participate in the “basic function” of selecting the party’s candidates. But the Court finds that the state law does not violate the Seventeenth Amendment, as the rule establishes qualifications for voting in congressional elections that differ from the qualifications for voting in primary elections for the state legislature.