Members of the Montana Republican Party will meet Saturday to decide whether to join a lawsuit seeking to close their primary elections to those who have registered with the GOP.

A federal judge denied a request from the Republican Central committees involved in the suit for a partial summary judgment or preliminary injunction that would close their primaries while the case is being decided. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls issued the ruling Thursday.

Committees from Ravalli, Gallatin, Sanders, Dawson and Stillwater counties have sued Secretary of State Linda McCulloch and county election officials. Five more counties joined the suit in recent weeks.

The Saturday meeting, which is open to the public, will take place at 10 a.m. at Jorgenson's Inn and Suites in Helena.