Oh Won't You Stay...?
From The Clarion-Ledger:
"The Mississippi Democratic Party, the Mississippi Republican Party, the state of Mississippi and the Mississippi NAACP have filed motions with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans asking for a stay [of Judge Allen Pepper's ruling] while their appeals are pending."
There would seem to be a good chance that this stay will be granted, since all four appellants are requesting it. Suppose the 2008 legislature enacts the measures that the judge has ordered, and then all or part of his ruling is reversed on appeal. That would create lots of unnecessary confusion and red tape. Besides, there's not a lot of folderol involved in issuing a stay. This would move back Pepper's August 31, 2008 deadline and likely exempt our spring 2009 municipal primaries from the ruling.
"Democrats would welcome independents in their primaries, Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy said."
If there was any doubt, this removes it. Once the dust has settled, independents will have the same choices on primary day that ALL voters have in the present setup, i.e., independents will be able to vote in either the Democratic or the Republican primary.
Here is my view as to the scenario that will unfold: Pepper's ruling that Mississippi's primary election law is unconstitutional will be upheld on appeal. His orders for voter ID and party registration will be reversed, however, as those two matters are in the legislature's domain.
"Requirements that would dramatically change Mississippi's voting system..."
The main change will be that the Democrats will be able to block Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries-- which was the Democrats' purpose in bringing the lawsuit. Since the Republicans have said that they will keep their primaries open to ALL voters, Democratic voters will also continue to have their choice of either party's primary. In other words, Republicans will be the only voters who will have fewer choices on primary day than they have now.