DETROIT, JAN. 12 -- A federal judge today dismissed a constitutional challenge to seven state laws, giving supporters of Vice President Bush a new legal victory over the Pat Robertson-Jack Kemp coalition that controls the Michigan Republican Party.
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge George Woods boosted Bush's chances in Michigan's presidential delegate-selection process, which at the end of this month will result in the choosing of the first 77 delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Five supporters of the former television evangelist and the New York congressman filed the federal lawsuit arguing that the state laws interferred with the internal workings of the state Republican Party and thus were unconstitutional.
The conservative coalition that controls the 101-member Republican State Committee had changed party rules to help Robertson and Rep. Kemp in Michigan. However, two state judges struck down those changes, basing their decisions on the state laws that were challenged in the federal suit. The Robertson-Kemp coalition is appealing.
The federal ruling was made only two days before 10,000 Republicans gather for county and district conventions. Those meetings are Thursday night. The national convention delegates will be picked at the Jan. 29-30 state convention.