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First Amendment Library:
James J. Brosnahan


The California Elections Code prohibits the official governing bodies of political parties from endorsing candidates in party primaries. It also dictates the organization and composition of those bodies, limits the term of office of a party chair, and requires that the chair rotate between residents of northern and southern California. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that these provisions violate the free speech and associational rights of political parties and their members guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. 826 F. 2d 814 (1987). We noted probable jurisdiction, 485 U. S. 1004 (1988), and now affirm.