The Fourth Circuit disagreed that there was no standing. According to the panel:
Focusing on the plaintiffs' injuries reveals that their alleged constitutional injuries are not conjectural or hypothetical. The participation of Democrats in the plaintiffs' upcoming primary is inevitable. Knowing their upcoming process for selecting a nominee will include Democrats prevents the plaintiffs from formulating a message and selecting the candidates best tailored to their party's interests.
The panel also found that the case was ripe: "The only issue in the case is whether Virginia's open primary law violates the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights to freely associate." The Court rejected a contention that the GOP had to wait until at least twocandidatess had filed for office because there would be "insufficient time to decide the case without disrupting the pending election."