By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - A federal judge is ruling in favor of Hawaii's open primary election system.
U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright issued an order Thursday saying the Democratic Party of Hawaii has failed to prove that the open primary is "facially unconstitutional."
The party filed a lawsuit in June challenging Hawaii's open primary election. The lawsuit claims allowing every registered voter to participate in the party's nomination process is tantamount to forced political association and is unconstitutional.
Seabright's order says the party's challenge fails and that he's ruling in favor of the state.
Party attorney Tony Gill says they will "closely evaluate" the decision.
A spokeswoman says the state attorney general's office is pleased.
Hawaii has allowed voters to choose which primary they want to vote in since 1980.