It's official! Jan. 8

UPDATE: New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner just announced that the first-in-the-nation presidential primary will be held Jan. 8, 2008. The news below was apparently the last piece of data he needed...

The Michigan Supreme Court overruled two lower courts today and cleared the way for the state to hold a presidential primary on Jan. 15. According to the Detroit Free Press, the court also ruled that "granting exclusive access to voter lists from (the primary) to the Democratic and Republican parties was not unconstitutional."

More from the Free Press:

Backers of the early primary had hoped it would force candidates to spend more time in Michigan and focus on Michigan and Midwestern issues. But those hopes have gone largely unfulfilled, as most of the Democratic candidates signed pledges not to campaign in Michigan at all because the early date violates national party rules. Two of the leading Democratic candidates, John Edwards and Barack Obama, also removed their names from the ballot altogether. New York U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton is the only top Democrat whose name will appear on the Jan. 15 ballot.

Democratic Party national committee member Debbie Dingell, who with U.S. Sen. Carl Levin took the lead on accelerating the Michigan primary date, said Wednesday she still holds out some hope the state Legislature would amend the statute to put all the Democrats back on the ballot.