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Duke asks court: get me on ballots

Published Oct. 10, 2005

David Duke has enlisted the Supreme Court in his battle to get on state primary ballots as a Republican to challenge President Bush.

The former Ku Klux Klansman and ex-Nazi Party supporter asked the court Friday to order that his name be listed on the ballot in Georgia for the March 3 primary.

He wants to be assured of running there that day, pending a final Supreme Court decision on his right to do so. An Atlanta federal appeals court ruled 10 days ago that he had no such right.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote that Georgia Republicans have a right to decide with whom they will associate politically and can keep someone out of party affairs, including the primary, because of opposition to his or her political views.

Duke, a Republican state legislator from Baton Rouge, La., has been carrying on a battle with Republican officials in several states over his desire to run for president in primaries. The Georgia case was the first to reach the high court.

As of now, he has gained the right _ sometimes only after a legal fight _ to run in 11 state primaries, has a legal challenge pending in a 12th, and has lost in two: Georgia and Florida.

He is on the ballot in Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. His bid to get on the Wisconsin ballot is awaiting a state Supreme Court ruling.