On June 8, U.S. District Court Judge W. Allen Pepper, a Clinton appointee, ruled in favor of the Mississippi Democratic Party. The issue was whether Mississippi’s open primary is unconstitutional as applied to a political party that doesn’t want non-members voting in its primary. The case is Mississippi State Democratic Party v Barbour, 4:06-cv-29. Thanks to Steve Rankin for this news. This is the first time a court has ever ruled a standard open primary to be unconstitutional if a party objects to it.
The judge said he would give the legislature until April 2008 to craft a new election law that complies with the court ruling. He suggested the possibility that the legislature might set up registration by party, but said that is up to the legislature.