The Supreme Court will decide whether they’ll take up the Utah GOP’s appeal over SB54 early next month.
The Utah GOP’s appeal seeking to overturn the state’s law allowing candidates to qualify for a primary election either by gathering signatures, going through the traditional caucus/convention system or both was distributed for the March 1st conference.
Coincidentally, Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, a longtime critic of SB54, told UtahPolicy.com he was abandoning a bill to repeal the SB54 dual-path, preferring to let the courts decide the issue.
During the term, the Justices meet on most Fridays to discuss cases and vote on whether to hear appeals that come before the court, known as granting a petition of certiorari. Every year there are approximately 9,000 to 10,000 petitions for certiorari, and less than 1% (between 80-100) are granted a review with oral arguments before the court. It takes a positive vote from four of the nine justices to place a case on the court’s calendar.
SB54 was adopted as a compromise in 2014 to stop a ballot initiative that would do away with the state’s caucus/convention system in favor of a direct primary. The Utah Republican Party has contended in several court filings that the law violated their 1st Amendment rights. The lawsuits nearly bankrupted the party.
Last year the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld SB54 in a 2-1 decision.
If the Utah GOP’s position is granted, it will likely be announced on March 1 following the conference. If the case is denied or relisted, that announcement will come the following Monday.