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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

Recent Felon Disenfranchisement Decisions

Two separate courts have ruled on cases dealing with felon disenfranchisement in recent days. In Farrakhan v. Gregoire, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District held that the plaintiffs had “demonstrated that the discriminatory impact of Washington’s felon disenfranchisement is attributable to racial discrimination in Washington’s criminal justice system” and thus the felon disenfranchisement law violates § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The court granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs.

In Janis v. Nelson, the focus was on felons who were removed from voter registration lists after being sentenced to probation, rather than incarceration. The United States District Court for the District of South Dakota denied most of the state defendants’ motions for judgment on the pleadings, keeping alive claims based on federal and state constitutional and statutory grounds. One of the more interesting claims that survived is based on the Help America Vote Act’s state voter registration list maintenance requirements.

Commentary

Edward B. Foley

Of Bouncing Balls and a Big Blue Shift

Edward B. Foley

It is a fortuitous coincidence that the University of Virginia’s Journal of Law & Politics has just published a piece of mine that shows the relevance of the current vote-counting process in Virginia’s Attorney General election to what might happen if the 2016 presidential election turns on a similar vote-counting process in Virginia. 

Read full post here.

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

Ohio treasurer receives OK to host town halls

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about an attorney general opinion that allows the Ohio treasurer to conduct telephone town halls using public money. The opinion will likely have broad ramifications for the upcoming elections, Tokaji said.

“As a practical matter, while that legal advice is certainly right, very serious concerns can arise about whether these are really intended to inform Ohio constituents about the operations of his office or if they’re campaign events,” he said.

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Info & Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign contribution cap

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion today in McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down aggregate limits on political campaign contributions but leaving in place limits on contributions to individual candidates.

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