Vanderbilt Law Review

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The legal issues underlying the California delegate challenge at the 1972 Democratic National Convention are the subject of this Article. The Article briefly will sketch some of the recent constitutional developments in party reform litigation. It will argue that winner-take-all primaries, especially in California because of its size, are violations of equal protection as interpreted by the voting rights cases decided during the past 40 years. Finally, it will take the superficially paradoxical position that despite its unconstitutionality, California's winner-take-all primary did not violate the rules governing delegate selection to the 1972 Democratic National Convention; therefore, unless declared unconstitutional by a court, the 1972 Democratic National Convention should only have invalidated California's winner-take-all primary prospectively. Of course, that is in fact what happened after all the turmoil had ended.

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