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  • Former South Carolina Party Chair Says GOP Pledge Is Unenforceable

    Former South Carolina Republican Party Chair Katon Dawson said the state’s current loyalty pledge would be meaningless in a court of law.

    According to Dawson, who reviewed the document for former Gov. Rick Perry, the wording in the South Carolina pledge is much weaker than the 2008 election cycle, when he served as chairman.

    “I’ve had a lawyer look at it, and you can drive a dump truck through it,” he told Greenville News.

    Loyalty pledges have been an increasingly hot topic due to GOP front-runner Donald Trump saying he wouldn’t rule out a third-party run during the first presidential debate.

    The controversial billionaire signed the Republican National Committee’s pledge Thursday, but has until the end of September to sign South Carolina’s similar document.

    Forty-seven states currently have sore loser laws in place, a measure used to prevent losing candidates from running as an independent or another party’s nominee in a general election.

    If the pledge is broken, the state party can theoretically sue the candidate to keep them off the ballot. NYU Constitutional law professor Richard Pildes told Vanity Fair, in most cases, sore loser laws aren’t applicable to presidential candidates.

    While the pledge may not be legally binding, the RNC’s maneuver does hold the unpredictable businessman accountable in the eyes of the American voter.

    “I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge,” he said during Thursday’s press conference.

    If Trump decides to stray from his allegiance to the party, it could prove to be detrimental for the GOP taking back control of the White House.

    Follow Juliegrace Brufke on Twitter

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