Judge Rejects Suit Over NJ’s Primary System

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -

New Jersey can continue to use its primary system to pick political candidates after a federal judge shot down a lawsuit challenging it.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler last week turned down a lawsuit led by groups of independent voters who challenged the primary system’s rules that only allow registered voters of a particular party to participate.

The judge cited a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings supporting the political party system.

Chesler wrote that if he ruled in favor of the groups, the ruling would “likely tread upon associational rights” that are “enshrined by a long and increasingly firm line of Supreme Court precedent.”

The groups had argued that the system prevents the participation of nearly half of the state’s 2.6 million registered voters who are not affiliated with the Republican or Democratic parties.