Randall Terry is a long-time opponent of legal abortion. He has gained a place on the Democratic presidential primary ballot in some states this year. Generally he is on the ballot in states which require a filing fee as the only condition for being on the ballot. He is also an official write-in candidate in certain other Democratic presidential primaries.
As a candidate, federal law protects his right to buy advertising on broadcast media, and that media cannot refuse to sell him time if he can afford it. Also the media cannot censor his message. However, on January 27, the Democratic National Committee declared in this letter that Terry is not a bona fide Democrat, and therefore he should not be allowed the normal rights relating to broadcast media that other candidates receive. Terry wants to air television advertising during the Super Bowl. One television station has already refused, based on the letter from the Democratic National Committee.
This issue gets to the heart of the same issue that is involved with the Rosaland Kurita case in Tennessee, which is pending in the 6th circuit. In 2008 the Tennessee Democratic Party would not recognize Kurita as its nominee for State Senate, even though she had won the primary. How much control does the U.S. Constitution give to political parties over their own nomination process? The U.S. Supreme Court has given the nation conflicting opinions. Thanks to Bill Van Allen for this news.