Judge dismisses suit over SC party registration

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed the Greenville County Republican Party's lawsuit seeking to limit primaries to registered supporters.

U.S. District Judge Mary Lewis said in an order released last week that the county party did not have the legal standing to sue to close the state's primaries.

Any voter registered in South Carolina is allowed to participate in one primary election per cycle without declaring a political affiliation.

In 2010, the Greenville County party's executive committee filed a federal lawsuit saying South Carolina's open primary system denied the party its First Amendment rights to free association. The suit was aimed at forcing the Legislature to require voters to register by party before primary voting.

The state GOP was initially part of the lawsuit but dropped out earlier this year.