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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Thursday, January 10, 2008

5th Circuit Expedites Open Primary Lawsuit

The 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has not set a specific date for oral argument in the Mississippi Democrats' lawsuit, but it will be during the week of March 3. The Democrats are challenging our state open primary law, as they want to be able to block Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries.

Last June, U. S. District Judge Allen Pepper declared the law unconstitutional. I believe that this part of his ruling will be upheld on appeal. The judge went further and also ordered the state to enact voter ID and party registration. I believe that that part will be reversed, as those two items are the legislature's prerogatives.

On December 21, the 5th Circuit stayed Pepper's ruling and set aside his August 31, 2008 deadline for its implementation. This means that we will presumably be able to conduct our spring 2009 municipal primaries just as we always have. Significantly, the 5th Circuit also ordered that the case be expedited.

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