Appeals court just ruled on federal judge decision that rocked N.J. politics

In the latest big development in a case that has rocked Garden State politics, a federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a federal judge’s decision to block New Jersey’s unique but controversial “county line” ballot design in this year’s Democratic primary elections.

The three-judge panel from the U.S. 3rd District Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to lift the lower court’s injunction and keep in place the century-old system, in which party-endorsed candidates are given preferential placement on primary ballots. Critics have long said the design, the only of its kind in the nation and a cornerstone of New Jersey’s political universe, empowers party bosses.

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