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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 8 years ago

Help! need info on Trinsey v Pennsylvania!?

I have a video project due in 2 days, on the 17th amendment and I have to talk about a supreme court case! I chose Trinsey v Pennsylvania and I've done some research but all I find is Wikipedia and I don't understand what this case is about! please can someone give me a detailed summary on this case! all I know its that some senator died in a plane crash in 1991 .. but what was the problem? what did the supreme court vote? Please help! I would prefer the summary & a link. don't just give me a link. Thank you!

1 Answer

  • gunner
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The case was first heard in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where, following oral arguments, the judge dismissed both Trinsey's motion to remove Wofford and the Commonwealth's motion to dismiss. On June 10, 1991, however, the District Court declared the statute unconstitutional, stating that it violated both the Fourteenth and Seventeenth Amendments due to the failure to ensure "popular participation" through the use of primary elections.[7] This decision was reached following an analysis of the legislative history of the Seventeenth Amendment and electoral processes; based on this analysis, the court concluded that the Pennsylvanian use of a nomination process before a special election implied a right to vote, which was violated by the lack of a primary and necessitated a strict scrutinising of the legislation. After considering the evidence, the court concluded that "the interests the Commonwealth put forth in support of the statute could not outweigh the infringement of the right to vote", leading to the conclusion that the statute governing special elections was unconstitutional.[8]

    With this "the public, press and political parties quickly turned their attention to the case",[9] with the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania (supported by their Democratic counterparts) and several prominent politicians intervening. They moved to expedite an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In a unanimous opinion, the Court of Appeals (consisting of Sloviter, Greenberg and Seitz) confirmed that there was no restriction of any fundamental right, and therefore that the strict scrutiny process did not need to be applied. In the absence of this process, they held that the Seventeenth Amendment did not require primary elections to fill vacancies, and more broadly gave state legislatures wide discretion as to how to hold elections; as such, the statute did not violate the constitution.[9] In December 1991 the Supreme Court denied a writ of certiorari, presumably because the special election had already taken place in November and the issue was thus moot.[10]

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