For Immediate Release
August 9, 2002
Amanda Cooper, 212 998–6736
Statement by Plaintiffs’ Counsel on Second Circuit Ruling inCampbell vs. Bysiewicz
Elizabeth Daniel of the Brennan Center for Justice is lead counsel for plaintiffs in Campbell v. Bysiewicz and argued on their behalf today before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
We will continue to prepare for the scheduled August 28, 2002 trial in this case.
The Second Circuits ruling today on complex procedural issues leaves intact the lower courts finding that Connecticuts primary system is an election scheme of dubious constitutionality. Also remaining intact is the record created below showing the heavy burdens faced by candidates, such as our clients Ed Gomes and Jim Campbell, seeking to enter Connecticuts primaries.
Over and over again we have heard the Secretary of the State argue that the political parties interests must be represented in this lawsuit. Now we invite the Secretary of the State to join us in bringing the Democratic and Republican parties into the process. With the guidance provided today by the Second Circuit, it has become clear that inclusion of the political parties is necessary in order to achieve a victory for Connecticuts voters.
At this juncture, it is important to re-state the goals of this lawsuit. On behalf of our clients, we seek to bring real representative democracy to Connecticut and its primary process. In Connecticut, since 1957, no incumbent U.S. Representative, no incumbent U.S. Senator, and only one incumbent governor has faced a primary challenge. This case aims to bring Connecticut in line with the rest of the nation, where ballot access usually requires only the filing of a petition or the payment a modest fee. As the law now stands, most voters are limited to choosing from candidates who were anointed by the leadership of the major political parties.
More information on Campbell v. Bysiewicz is available here.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law unites thinkers and advocates in pursuit of a vision of inclusive and effective democracy. Our mission is to develop and implement an innovative, nonpartisan agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.