For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Maria Archuleta, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666;

ACLU to Argue in Appeals Court That South Carolina's Ballot Access Law Is Unconstitutional

Group Says "Sore Loser" Statute Violates Free Association Rights

RICHMOND, Va. - The American Civil Liberties Union will
argue in a federal appeals court in Virginia on Tuesday, May 11 that
South Carolina's so-called "sore loser" statute unconstitutionally
violates the right of voters and parties to select the candidates of
their choosing. The statute prevents candidates who seek nominations
from multiple parties from appearing on the ballot if they lose any one
party's nomination.

The statute prevented Eugene Platt,
the Green Party's chosen candidate for the state House of
Representatives, from appearing on the ballot in the November 2008
elections because he later lost the Democratic Party's primary

South Carolina is one of only a
handful of states that permit fusion voting, which allows multiple
political parties to nominate the same candidate. However, the state's
"sore loser" statute blocks a candidate from appearing on the ballot if
he or she loses any party's nomination even if another party selects
that candidate as its nominee.

The ACLU's lawsuit charges that the
statute imposes an unjustified burden on the First Amendment's free
association rights of candidates and voters as well as political
parties' right to select their preferred candidates.

Oral arguments in South Carolina Green Party et al. v. South
Carolina State Election Commission et al., challenging South
Carolina's "sore loser" statute


The media landscape is changing fast

Our news team is changing too as we work hard to bring you the news that matters most.

Change is coming. And we've got it covered.

Please donate to our 2019 Mid-Year Campaign today.

Bryan Sells, ACLU Voting Rights
Project senior staff attorney, will argue the case before a three-judge
panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
9:30 a.m. EDT

The Lewis F. Powell, Jr., U.S.
1100 East Main Street, Suite 501  
Richmond, Virginia 23219-3517

The ACLU's legal brief in the case is
available at:

More information on the work of the
ACLU Voting Rights Project is available at:


We want a more open and sharing world.

That's why our content is free. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported.

All of our original content is published under Creative Commons—allowing (and encouraging) our articles to be republished freely anywhere. In addition to the traffic and reach our content generates on our site, the multiplying impact of our work is huge and growing as our articles flourish across the Internet and are republished by other large and small online and print outlets around the world.

Several times a year we run brief campaigns to ask our readers to pitch in—and thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Our 2019 Mid-Year Campaign is underway. Can you help? We can't do it without you.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Share This Article

More in: