GOP Chair Reince Priebus Sued for "Underfranchising" Hispanic Voters
After last month's electoral loss, the Republican Party is desperately trying to make it self over as a Hispanic friendly group, but the fact that a group representing Hispanic Republican voters in Florida has now filed a lawsuit against Reince Priebus, the national GOP chair with a name that sounds like it's out of Game of Thrones, certainly won't help. Sure, the lawsuit was thrown out today, but it did make an interesting point.
The lawsuit was brought about by Ralph Emmanuelli ("a Florida resident and registered Republican
voter in Pinellas County, Florida") Hillsborough Hispanic Coalition and was filed in US Court of Appeal's 11th Circuit today. The suit claimed that the Republican Party's presidential primary system is rigged in such a way that whoever emerges as the nominee is bound to hold views that aren't too friendly to Hispanic.
Appellants allege that the RNC's rules "underenfranchise" Hispanic Republican voters, because they allow early voting states--namely, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada-- with comparatively small percentages of Republican Hispanic voters to skew the debate toward the interests of those states' dominant demographics. As a result of the influence the RNC's rules bestow on those states, Appellants contend that presidential candidates adopt positions contrary to those of Hispanic voters.
Florida, you might remember, decided to hold its primary earlier than GOP rules allowed, and was penalized with a reduction in delegates.
Though, the theory that the traditional primary calendar favors states with relatively small Hispanic populations is an interesting point. Of those early state, only Nevada has a relatively large Hispanic populations of 26.5 percent. Of those states, South Carolina has the next highest percentage at just 5.1 percent.
While an interesting political theory it may be (and one both parties might want to consider), the court decided the lawsuit was without merit and ruled to dismiss the case.