When a political party rule and a state election law clash, the party rule prevails, Monitor correspondent George B. Merry reports. This, in effect, was the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court last year - a decision the US Supreme Court let stand Monday. The case involved a Massachusetts Democratic rule restricting the primary ballot to candidates who received at least 15 percent of delegate votes at the party's preprimary convention. The plaintiffs argued that having met the 10,000 voter-signature requirement prescribed by state law, no candidate could be kept off the ballot.
The justices voted 6 to 3 not to hear the case. This was in line with their 1981 decision in a Wisconsin case, which held that the Democratic National Committee could restrict participation in selecting delegates for its presidential nominating convention.