A federal judge Wednesday allowed the Utah Democratic Party to intervene in the ongoing fight between the Utah Republican Party and the state over the primary election nominating process. The Democratic Party last month said it wants to make sure the Utah GOP is not allowed to rewrite the state’s election laws or circumvent the will of the Legislature and a recent court decision. It also wants to weigh in on the case as it moves to the Utah Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge David Nuffer found there is a common question of fact regarding the election law’s direct and collateral effect on political parties in Utah. The Republican Party objected, calling the Democrats’ motion to intervene a “crass” political statement, according to court documents.
In its motion, the Democratic Party, which has open primary elections, accuses the Utah GOP of being “paranoid” that nonparty members would influence its primary elections if they were open to all voters.
“The UTGOP has thick enough skin to refute such sophomoric talking points in the court of public opinion. But in this court, these statements show how the UDP has no real interest in the UTGOP’s legal action,” Republican Party lawyers wrote.
The state did not object to the Democrats becoming involved the case.