Democratic process in which people who share common values and political views form organizations, or parties, to promote candidates for public office who hold the same political positions.
The political party system in the United States developed outside the Constitution because many of the Founders viewed parties, which they usually referred to as “factions,” as a dangerous and negative influence on the body politic. The Founders hoped that the system they devised would check the more negative tendencies of parties or factions. Because the Constitution did not specifically mention political parties,
The increased interest in political equality and
In Anderson v. Celebrezze
In 1986, the Court ruled in Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut that despite a state law restricting participation in primary elections to party members only, the Connecticut Republican Party, acting under its freedom of association protected by the First Amendment, could allow independent voters to participate in some of its primary elections. The Court continued in this vein in Eu v. San Francisco Democratic Committee
Another issue affecting the degree of competitiveness and fairness of the party system is the practice of gerrymandering,
In California, the Democratic Party adopted a plan that was challenged by the Republicans. The Court, in Badham v. Eu
Overall the Court’s actions have made the party system more subject to control and regulation from the national level. Although the states can still act to maintain the integrity of the electoral process, the Court has been inclined to give parties more freedom to govern themselves as private associations. At the same time, the Court has acted to restrict state regulations and party rules that limited access to and citizen participation in the parties and the electoral process.
Aldrich, John H. Why Politics? The Origin and Transformation of Political Parties in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Christman, Roy, and Barbara Norrander. “A Reflection on Political Party Deregulation via the Courts: The Case of California.” Journal of Law and Politics 6 (1990): 723-742. McCleskey, Clifton. “Parties at the Bar: Equal Protection, Freedom of Association, and the Rights of Political Organizations.” Journal of Politics 46 (1984): 346-368.
Assembly and association, freedom of
Buckley v. Valeo
Communist Party v. Subversive Activities Control Board
Financing political speech
Political party system