core right before us. We must invoke the rule.
We point out that this case does not present the direct clash
of a Fifteenth Amendment violation and a First Amendment right.
LaRouche's constitutional claim under the Fifteenth Amendment was
dismissed by the one-judge district court and affirmed by the
court of appeals. See LaRouche, 152 F.3d at 987, 998. Thus,
this case is not governed by the White Primary Cases, in which
the Court struck down practices excluding minority voters from
the Texas Democratic Party nomination process as violative of the
Fifteenth and Fourteenth Amendments. See Nixon v. Herndon,
273 U.S. 536, 47 S.Ct. 446, 71 L.Ed. 759 (1927); Nixon v. Condon,
286 U.S. 73, 52 S.Ct. 484, 76 L.Ed. 984 (1932); Smith v.
Allwright, 321 U.S. 649, 64 S.Ct. 757, 88 L.Ed. 987 (1944);
Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461, 73 S.Ct. 809, 97 L.Ed. 1152
(1953). The history of the White Primary Cases supports the
proposition that Congress intended the Voting Rights Act to have
a broad scope, see Morse, 517 U.S. at 210-12, 116 S.Ct. 1186
(Stevens, J.), but we cannot "lightly assume that Congress
intended to infringe constitutionally protected liberties or
usurp power constitutionally forbidden it." Edward J. DeBartolo
Corp., 485 U.S. at 575, 108 S.Ct. 1392. The Court of Appeals
observed that nothing in the historical context of the Voting
Rights Act evidences "a concern that a covered jurisdiction would
to try achieve [unconstitutional] end[s] by delegating authority
to a national party, or that a national party would attempt to
impose racially discriminatory rules on a covered jurisdiction."
LaRouche, 152 F.3d at 986. Although it may be true that "the
right of associative freedom would not provide a defense to many
practices condemned by § 5," see Morse, 517 U.S. at 229 n. 38,
116 S.Ct. 1186 (Stevens, J.), we only consider a national party
rule concerning core associational freedoms formulated by an
uncovered entity, which does not implicate suspect
classifications, and which is administered without alteration by
covered jurisdictions. Heeding Justice Breyer's concerns in
Morse, we need not go further. See Morse, 517 U.S. at 238-40,
116 S.Ct. 1186 (Breyer, J.).
In the wake of Morse, we know that some "nominating
convention practices" of political parties may fall within the
Act's preclearance requirements. We also know that this inquiry
is impacted by the associational rights at issue. The Morse
Court did not need to determine the "hypothetical concerns" that
later cases such as this one would raise, id. at 229, 116 S.Ct.
1186 (Stevens, J.), but we must confront the reach of the federal
government into an area long recognized as involving the
fundamental political rights of the nation's citizens. We hold
that under the facts of this case, the First Amendment rights of
the political party and its members preclude a reading of the
preclearance requirements which would allow their application to
the state defendants. The motion to dismiss is granted.
The motions to dismiss came on to be heard before a three-judge
court of the United States District Court of the District of
Columbia and was argued on August 16, 1999.
On consideration whereof, for the reasons set forth more fully
in the opinion issued on even date, it is this 1st day of
November, 1999, herewith
ORDERED that defendants' motion to dismiss is granted.
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