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Appeals Court Rules Against Utah GOP, Upholds Nominating Law

Utah Republican Party logo.
Utah Republican Party logo.

A federal appeals court has ruled against Utah's Republican Party and upheld a state law overhauling how political parties nominate candidates.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said the 2014 law balances the state's interest in managing elections while allowing political parties and residents a way to express their political choices.

Utah's GOP argued the law allowing candidates to bypass GOP nominating conventions and instead participate in a primary is unconstitutional. The party says it has a right to determine how it picks its candidates.

The lawsuit is the party's second unsuccessful attempt to challenge the law.

The protracted legal battle left the party saddled with debt and played a role in the party chairman's ouster last year.

New Utah GOP chairman Rob Anderson did not immediately have a comment on the ruling.