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What is a brokered convention, and are we going to have one in 2016?

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The reason we haven’t seen a brokered convention in more than half a century is that these days the voters in the primaries and caucuses usually manage to have awarded someone the most delegates before the conventions meet. As that happens, the other candidates drop out leaving the party with one nominee. Because the primaries get so much attention, people often forget that in the end it is the delegates who award a presidential candidate the nomination. And, here’s the kicker: there is no law anywhere that says these delegates can’t do exactly what they want to do if a majority of them decide. The Supreme Court has ruled on more than one occasion that political parties are protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of association and thus in most conflicts between state law and party rules the party rules win.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

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