U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Dillon ruled on Friday the Republican party has a right to bar members from the party and from voting in party run processes for nominating theirÂ candidates.
Two members of the Frederick County Republican Committee were barred from participating in the party for 4 years after they openly supported a third party candidate against a Republican candidate. The rule also meant they cannot vote in any party run nomination process, including Firehouse primaries. They sued RPV for the right to vote. From CourthouseNews.com,
The Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit both recognize political partiesâ€™ right to associate and importantly, their right to limit that association,â€ Dillon wrote in the 13-page opinion.
â€œIn Virginia, a party is free to select from various methods of nomination in which it can exclude voters who do not share its views â€” including a closed primary conducted and funded by the party,â€ Dillon said.
Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, John Whitbeck, responded to the decision,
â€œWe are very glad this pettiness is finally behind us,â€ said Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck, calling the lawsuit â€œfrivolousâ€ and filed by â€œparty outsidersâ€ who sought to violated party rules.
â€œThere was never a doubt that the RPV would ultimately win in this situation,â€ Whitbeck said.
The lawyer for the plaintiffs,Â Charles King,Â said they would examine their legal options before moving ahead.Â He added,
â€œThey (the plainiffs) believe their right to vote was being denied because of Facebook posts and op-eds,â€ he said. â€œAfter the 2017 election, the party should be trying to include people, not thin the herd.â€
More on the story here.Â