(CN) – The 4th Circuit on Tuesday upheld South Carolina’s “sore-loser statute,” which kept 2008 Green Party candidate Eugene Platt off the ballot.
The South Carolina Green Party and the South Carolina Working Families Party both chose Platt as their candidate, but he was barred from the ballot after he lost the Democratic primary in June 2008.
Platt filed a lawsuit, joined by the Green Party and a voter who had supported him, claiming the sore-loser statute violated the Green Party’s rights of association. They pointed out that Platt had secured the Green Party’s nomination before he lost the Democratic primary.
But the Virginia-based federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s dismissal of the case, saying the statute had been constitutionally applied to Platt.
“The Green Party retained the right to select Platt, or any other candidate, at its state convention,” Judge Barbara Keenan wrote for the three-judge panel in Richmond. “It was Platt’s own decision to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination, not interference by members of the Democratic Party … that affected the Green Party’s ability to retain Platt on the general election ballot as its preferred nominee.”