Posted: January 18, 2011
Sixth Circuit Issues Stay in Ohio Provisional Ballot Case
The Sixth Circuit today (1/18) issued an order granting a stay in the Hamilton County Juvenile Court provisional ballots case. This follows a flurry of motions over the last few days, including an amicus brief from the Ohio Secretary of State. Oral arguments are set for Thursday, January 20. For a complete listing of the documents filed in this case, see our Major Pending Cases page for the case.
The Sixth Circuit's stay essentially freezes the status quo until the appeals court has a chance to review the merits. Characterizing the case as "difficult," with "complex" and "contested" facts, and presenting "serious questions on their merits," the stay order was careful not to tip its hand which way it might ultimately rule. The 3-judge panel (Moore, Cole, Rogers) essentially explained the need for the stay as to avoid the "difficult position in which the [Hamilty County] Board [of Elections] finds itself": subject to two "conflicting orders" from the federal district court and the Ohio Supreme Court while the potential of "its members fac[ing] contempt proceedings if they do not carry out the district court's order." Merits briefs from all parties are due 3 p.m. Wednesday, in advance of Thursday oral argument at 5 p.m.