The Sixth Circuit will hold oral arguments on January 17, 2012, in Kurita v State Primary Board of Tennessee Democratic Party. The hearing will be at 1:30 p.m. in Cincinnati. This is the fascinating case, filed in 2008, over whether a party has a constitutional right to set aside the results of its primary and designate the primary loser as the party’s nominee. In 2008, State Senator Rosalind Kurita, a Democrat, had won the Democratic primary for another term in the Senate. But the Democratic Party rejected her as its nominee and instead designated the person who had polled the second-most number of votes in its primary.
The U.S. District Court had then upheld the action of the Democratic Party. Kurita had angered her party by her vote in favor of a Republican to head the Tennessee Senate. Also, the party charged that many Republicans had voted in the Democratic primary to help Kurita win her primary. Tennessee has open primaries and no registration by party.