The United States Supreme Court refused to hear a pivotal case aimed at challenging New Jersey’s controversial ballot laws in a decision not to take up a case that could have threatened the entrenched political establishment’s ability to manipulate the electoral process.
The case was brought by Eugene Mazo and Lisa McCormick, who both ran as 2020 Democratic Party contenders for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Their lawsuit sought to challenge New Jersey’s election law, which permits candidates to use a six-word ballot slogan but infringes upon the First Amendment right to free speech, as it creates an uneven playing field that favors candidates with the backing of political powerbrokers and party bosses.
Professor Julia Sass Rubin of Rutgers University and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs conducted a comprehensive review of primary ballots across all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
She found that New Jersey’s ballot design substantially differed from other states, with a focus on the “county line” system that favored party-endorsed candidates.