NBC Montana reported Thursday that the Montana Republican Party is dropping out of a lawsuit that aims to close the state’s primary elections. The decision by the state GOP deals a significant blow to the lawsuit after three courts, including the Supreme Court, denied the plaintiffs’ petition to close June’s primary elections.
NBC Montana reports:
Matthew Monforton, an attorney for 10 GOP county central committees, says the county committees will continue as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
The Republicans claim that the open primary system allows Democrats and independent voters to influence their elections.
Their request for an emergency order to close the June 7 primaries has been rejected by three courts.
A federal judge agreed to move the case to trial in December but refused to order an injunction on the 2016 primary elections, ruling that not enough evidence had been presented to back the plaintiffs’ claim that open primaries severely burden the rights of the Republican Party.
The Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs’ petition in March.