Posted: April 20, 2011
S.Ct. denies stay in Ohio ballot case
The U.S. Supreme Court, without dissent, denied the application to stay the Sixth Circuit's Equal Protecting ruling that relied on Bush v. Gore. Scotusblog has a report. The consequence is that the case will now go back to the federal trial court for further proceedings, including fact-finding concerning the extent to which poll worker error may have affected some of the disputed ballots. Meanwhile, the Sixth Circuit's opinion stands as an important precedent on the meaning of Equal Protection in light of Bush v. Gore.
The Supreme Court gave no explanation for its denial of the stay. One reason might have been simply that there were further proceedings in the district court. Therefore, it is at least theoretically possible that the case could go back to the Supreme Court, in a petition for a writ of certiorari, after those lower-court proceedings are complete. Insofar as the stay application argued that there is a conflict between the Sixth Circuit and other jurisdictions on the proper understanding of Bush v. Gore and Equal Protection, a future cert petition even in this same case could continue to press the existence of that conflict at a later date.