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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Information & Analysis

April, 2008

Below are postings from April, 2008. (See Archives | Recent Headlines)

Crawford: It Could Have Been Worse

Apr. 29 -

That's about the best that can be said about yesterday's opinions in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. Following the precedent set by LULAC v. Perry and Randall v. Sorrell in 2006, the Court issued a splintered decision in an important constitutional election law case. The lack of a majority opinion, and the narrowness of Justice Stevens' lead opinion (joined only by the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy), will probably limit the harm done by the Court's decision to uphold what is probably the strictest and most exclusionary voter ID law in the country.

US Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Voter ID

Apr. 28 -

Today the US Supreme Court upheld Indiana's long-disputed voter ID law (opinion). The syllabus states that the law supports legitimate state interests of deterring fraud and protecting voter confidence, and that the procedure for obtaining proper ID "does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters' right to vote...." Check back for a full analysis.

Update: EL@M faculty Edward Foley and Daniel Tokaji have posted commentary here and here.

Preliminary Reports of PA Problems

Apr. 22 -

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that some Pennsylvania voters have been left off the polling place roster and in other cases the party affiliation listed next to their names is incorrect (see here). There are also reports of machine breakdowns and long lines (see here and here). The extent of the problems is unclear. See page 13 of this in-depth EL@M report for an analysis of how Pennsylvania law treats the problem of long lines discouraging individuals from voting. Check back for further updates.

PA Court Refuses to Extend Polling Hours

Apr. 22 -

A court has reportedly refused a request to extend polling hours in Philadelphia. A group called Voter Action filed the request after machines malfunctioned in eight Philadelphia precincts.

11th Circuit Reverses Injunction Against Florida's Voter Registration Law

Apr. 4 -

The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeal has reversed the injunction issued by the district court in Florida State Conference of the NAACP v. Browning. The injunction prohibited the enforcement of Florida's voter registration law, which provides for the disqualification of any voter registration where the Social Security or driver license number on the application cannot be matched with government databases. For more information or to review the Court's decision, see the EL@M case page.

Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

What's the Matter with Kobach?

Daniel P. Tokaji

By "Kobach," I mean the Kobach v. EAC case in which the Tenth Circuit heard oral argument Monday – rather than its lead plaintiff, Kansas’ controversial Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who argued the position of his state and the State of Arizona. This post discusses what’s at issue in the case, where the district court went wrong, and what the Tenth Circuit should do.

more commentary...

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.

more EL@M in the news...

Info & Analysis

Judge Denies Motion for Preliminary Injunction in NC Case

U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder denied the motion for a preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs in a case challenging a new North Carolina voting law as violating the Voting Rights Act and the federal Constitution. Judge Schroeder also denied the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings. The case is North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory.

more info & analysis...