Burdick v. Takushi

In Burdick v. Takushi, 504 U.S. 428, 112 S.Ct. 2059, 119 L.Ed.2d 245 (1992), in the course of upholding Hawaii's ban on write-in candidates, the Court expanded on the Anderson v. Celebrezze test. It stated that when minor party rights are subjected to "severe" restrictions, the regulation must be "narrowly drawn to advance a state interest of compelling importance." But when a state election law provision imposes only "reasonable, nondiscriminatory restrictions" . . . "the State's important regulatory interests are generally sufficient to justify" the restrictions. Id. at 433, 112 S.Ct. at 2063-64, 119 L.Ed.2d at 253-54. It is this test which has been utilized since 1983 to adjudicate minor party challenges to a state election scheme. Notably, the Court recognized that the impact on voters of candidate eligibility requirements implicates basic constitutional rights, namely freedom of association for the exchange and advancement of ideas which, of course, embraces freedom of speech. Anderson, supra, 460 U.S. at 786-87, 103 S.Ct. at 1569, 75 L.Ed.2d at 556. Further, after Burdick, the level of scrutiny applied to a challenged restriction quite clearly depends on the nature of the interest impinged on or burdened by the restriction and the extent of the burden. A state restriction which creates access barriers to the ballot thereby restricting the candidate field does not compel close scrutiny; however, when these state restrictions severely burden First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, close scrutiny is in order. Burdick, supra, 504 U.S. at 434, 112 S.Ct. at 2063, 119 L.Ed.2d at 253-54.