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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: December 13, 2007 / January 21, 2010
State: National
Issue: Campaign Finance
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Case 1:07-cv-02240); U.S. Supreme Court (Case 08205)


Do federal campaign finance laws apply to a critical film about a US Senator intended to be shown in theaters and on-demand  cable.  The Supreme Court ordered re-argument to focus on the constitutionality of limiting corporations’ independent spending during campaigns for the Presidency and Congress.


Final Decision entered 1/21/10

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Edward B. Foley

The Constitution Needed a Judicial Assist

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“The majority contends that its counterintuitive reading of ‘the Legislature’ is necessary to advance the ‘animating principle’ of popular sovereignty.” With this sentence in his dissent (at page 14), Chief Justice Roberts gets to the heart of the debate in today’s 5-4 decision in the Arizona redistricting case.

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In the News

David  Stebenne

Can Kasich win all 88 Ohio counties?

Professor David Stebenne was quoted in an Ohio Watchdog article about the possibility of Governor John Kasich winning all 88 Ohio counties in his re-election bid.

“It’s really hard to do,” he said. “As popular as the governor is and as weak as his opponent is, I doubt he’ll carry all 88 (counties).”

Stebenne said Ohio has some unusual counties, which tend to be really Democratic or really Republican.

He said a good example was the election of 1956, when President Dwight Eisenhower carried 87 of 88 Ohio counties.

“He lost one of the Appalachian counties — a poor county where the residents tend to vote Democratic no matter what,” Stebenne said. “There was even some humorous discussion in the Oval Office about that one county.”

Glenn and Voinovich were “the two most popular candidates in modern history,” he added, “and they each only did it once. While Kasich is popular, he really doesn’t have the broad appeal that these two did.”

Stebenne said that both Voinovich and Kasich come from communities that tend to be more Democratic in voter registration, but that Kasich’s first race for governor was more divisive than the races for Voinovich.

“Voinovich had electoral success in Cleveland and as governor because he was able to persuade Democrats to vote Republican,” he said. “Glenn had national appeal across party lines.”

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Info & Analysis

Fifth Circuit Affirms that Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act

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.

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