- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah Supreme Court is weighing the state Republican party’s lawsuit over a law that allows candidates to get their names on a primary ballot if they gather enough signatures.

The justices heard arguments Monday on whether the 2014 law goes too far in telling political parties how they select candidates.

Republicans say parties should decide how they choose candidates, not the state. They want to disqualify candidates who bypass the party’s caucus and convention system and instead try to compete in a primary election.

State attorneys argue the law, which becomes fully effective this year, simply gives candidates another option.

Critics say the convention system leads to more extreme candidates, but Republican party officials say it keeps politicians more accountable to voters.

It’s unclear when the justices will rule but another hearing is scheduled April 15.

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