An attorney for the Mississippi Democratic Party has told a federal appeals court that Democrats have a right to limit who can vote in their primaries.
The Democrats are appealing a Mississippi federal judge's order that the state adopt a party registration system and enact a voter identification law.
Judges of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in New Orleans. Democrats sued in 2006 amid complaints that voters sympathetic to Republicans have been voting in the Democratic primaries.
Ellis Turnage of Cleveland, representing the Democratic Party, said political parties have a right keep outsiders from voting in their primary elections.
Under current law, Mississippians do not declare a party affiliation when they register to vote.