The Utah Republican Party doesn’t intend to comply with the state’s controversial election law, even after the Utah Supreme Court rejected its arguments that political parties and not candidates decide how to access the primary election ballot. The Utah GOP argues that the court’s ruling forces it to accept candidates who seek a nomination for office solely through the signature gathering process, which violates its bylaws, according to a new federal court filing Wednesday. “The party is concerned that a candidate will be certified and imposed on the party who does not satisfy the requirements and follow the rules,” attorneys Marcus Mumford and Christ Troupis wrote.
U.S. District Judge David Nuffer asked the state Republican Party to respond to several questions in light of last week’s Utah Supreme Court decision, including whether it would follow the law and whether it would kick out candidates who only gather signatures.
The state high court ruled that there is no ambiguity in the election law known as SB54 that candidates — not the party — decide whether to collect signatures, go through Utah’s traditional convention system or both to secure a spot in the primary election.
Utah GOP lawyers told the judge the state Republican Party would continue its legal fight to choose nominees who best represent its platform and preserve its free association rights. The next federal court hearing in the ongoing lawsuit is scheduled for Friday.