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Fundamental Election Rights: Association, Voting, and Candidacy

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Title: Fundamental Election Rights: Association, Voting, and Candidacy
Author: Ahrens, Gary A.
Abstract: This article analyzes election rights in a republican form of government. At the time of the article, the right to vote, the right of free speech, and the right to petition government had all been recognized as fundamental rights; however, the Court had not yet clearly classified the right to be a candidate as fundamental. If a right is classified as a fundamental right, the courts employ a “strict scrutiny” standard of review to any state statute that infringes upon that right. The article points out that while the right to vote, the right of free speech, the right to petition government, and the right to associate for political purposes have all been identified as components of election rights, the courts have not identified the right that is the “prime principle” of election rights in a republican form of government. The article asserts that because the right of association is the value upon which all of the other rights depend, the right of association is the correct choice as the prime principle of election rights. The article urges the Court to recognize the Constitutional principle that a government cannot exist as a democratic republic unless it protects the individual’s right to freely associate and disassociate in electoral politics is a Constitutional principle; therefore, because the right to be a candidate is intertwined with the right to vote, the right of free speech, and the right to petition government, the article argues that the right to be a candidate should be included as a fundamental right.
Description: Co-author: Assistant Professor Nancy Hauserman, College of Business Adminstration, University of Iowa
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10601/1552
Related Resources: Click to follow Hein Online link
Date: 1980

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