Are Closed Primaries Unconstitutional?

Posted by on July 25, 2019 at 5:11 PM

Featured Blog Post: Playtesting: A New Cast Your Vote is On The Way

If you haven’t already, check out The Fulcrum!

Several members of the Bridge Alliance are fighting for open primaries, including and, of course, Open Primaries. These efforts include pressuring politicians to introduce and pass legislation and trying to get ballot initiatives up for popular vote -- i.e. democratic approaches. While these campaigns have certainly produced results, reformers face a constant up-hill battle against status quo-minded state parties.

What if closed primaries are unconstitutional, though? What if the U.S. Constitution protects independent-minded Americans from having to register with a particular party in order to participate in the primary process? According to three legal scholars (including Jeremy Gruber of Open Primaries), that’s precisely the situation. You can hear them make their case on a conference call with on July 29th @ 8:30 PM EDT. Email Cathy Stewart at [email protected] for more information.

In other huge news, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge now has 500(!!!) college campuses participating in its program. That means 500 campuses that are committed to improving civic learning and voter participation among their student bodies. If your campus is not participating (or if you’re not sure if they are), check out their website to learn more about the program.

Finally, we want to bring your attention to two very different but awesome public presentations by Bridge Alliance members:

  • If you have any plans to visit Chicago between August 6th and October 12th, we would strongly encourage you to check out Envisioning Justice by Illinois Humanities, where communities heavily impacted by the criminal justice system will reimagine justice using the arts. 
  • Philip K. Howard of Common Good was recently featured on the Glenn Beck Program where he discussed his new book Try Common Sense and its focus on simplifying the government and empowering officials and citizens to advance the common good via common sense.

As always, thank you for your support,


Bridge Alliance Education Fund

Think we missed a big news story involving a Bridge Alliance member? Email us at [email protected] and we'll make sure to get the story out on social media.


Bridge Alliance Members in the News:

Convergence - Philadelphia Inquirer - Amid widening inequality, how can jobs restore social mobility? | Opinion

Citizen University - Indianapolis Recorder - Civic Saturdays encourage honest discussions about complex issues

Institute for Local Government - SVCNEWS - State Begins to Allocate Senate Bill 2 Planning Grants