COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's Libertarian Party says a law governing how the state's elections are conducted is invalid.

Attorney Lauren Martell told the state Supreme Court on Thursday the legislation requires U.S. Justice Department approval since it was passed before the U.S. Supreme Court struck parts of that review process.

The Libertarian Party usually nominates candidates by convention and contends that new state law requires the party to have a primary vote to continue the convention process.

At issue is a law passed last year in hopes of preventing a repeat of the 2012 legal mess that kicked hundreds of candidates off primary ballots. Chief Justice Jean Toal said granting the Libertarian Party's request to overturn that law entirely would invalidate all the candidates who have filed for this year's elections.

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