Lowell Weicker, a former Republican U.S. Senator from Connecticut, and a former Governor elected on the “A Connecticut Party” line, has urged the Republican Party to again let independents vote in its primaries.
The Connecticut Republican Party won a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986, to force the state to let independents vote in the Republican Party’s primary. That decision, Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut, was a landmark victory for First Amendment rights for political parties. Ironically, a few years after winning the lawsuit, the Republican Party went back to excluding independents from voting in its primaries. See this story about Weicker’s recent remarks.
Connecticut Democrats have never allowed independents to vote in their primaries. The state didn’t even have primaries until the 1950′s; previously party meetings chose all party nominees.