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Information & Analysis
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued a decision and order dismissing the plaintiffs\' remaining claims in a Wisconsin voter ID case. Last year, the 7th Circuit reversed the judge\'s decision finding that Wisconsin\'s voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act and created an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The remaining claims included whether not recognizing certain IDs violated Equal Protection and whether the law constituted a poll tax. The case is Frank v. Walker.
Today, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the Texas voter ID case of Veasey v. Abbott, affirming in part and reversing in part the District Court\'s decision. The Fifth Circuit disagreed that Texas\' voter ID law is a poll tax under the 14th and 24th Amendments. The Court also vacated the District Court\'s judgment that the law was passed with a racially discriminatory purpose, remanding the case for a determination using the proper legal standard and evidence. However, the Court agreed that the law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act due to its discriminatory effect. The Fifth Circuit remanded the case for the District Court to determine the appropriate remedy.
In an opinion issued today, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a federal statute barring individuals who have government contracts from making political campaign contributions. The case is Wagner v. FEC.
In an opinion released today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arizona\'s use of an independent commission to draw the boundaries of federal Congressional districts. The Court determined that the commission is permissible under the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution and 2 U.S.C. 2a(c). The case is Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
Several plaintiffs recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleging that voting laws enacted by Ohio's Republican-controlled General Assembly since November 2012 violate various federal constitutional provisions as well as the Voting Rights Act. According to the complaint, the General Assembly has enacted laws that burden all Ohio voters but that were designed to and will disproportionately burden specific populations, particularly African-Americans, Latinos, and young people. The case is Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Husted.
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