Posted: 17 Jan 2008 05:54 PM CST
Today Federal District Judge James Mahan declined to issue a temporary injunction against the Democratic Party of Nevada's at large caucuses. “State Democrats have a First Amendment right to association, to assemble and to set their own rules,” Judge Mahan said.
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Posted: 17 Jan 2008 02:22 PM CST
Last Friday, Nevada's teachers union filed a lawsuit against the Democratic Party of Nevada in Federal Court claiming their at-large precincts violate 14th Amendment equal protection clause. The at-large precincts are set up at nine Vegas hotels and resorts by the Democratic Party of Nevada to afford thousands of hotel employees an opportunity to participate in the midday causes while at work. The state teachers union argues in their complaint that these causes provide special privileges for employees in the Vegas' service industry that are not available to other voters of different occupations throughout the state. The complaint goes on to argue that the at-large caucuses have also unfairly increased the amount of delegates awarded to the precincts in Clark County, the home of the Las Vegas strip, at the expense of other precincts.
The Democratic National Committee filed a motion to intervene in the case on Tuesday, arguing for that the previously recognized right of the national parties to set the rules for the nominating contests be upheld.
The political divisiveness of this case centers around accusations that the state teacher unions, whose leadership is made up of many supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton, is trying to suppress the vote of hotel employees who are members of the powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which has endorsed Obama. The Clinton Campaign has rejected claims that they were involved in bringing the suit, as was expressed by an indignant Bill Clinton earlier today.