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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

Latest Information & Analysis   

District Judge Dismisses Georgia Voter Rolls Case

Mar. 20 (1:15 AM) - In an order released late Friday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten dismissed a lawsuit filed against Georgia\'s Secretary of State by the advocacy organization Common Cause, which alleged that Georgia unlawfully removed voters from registration lists preceding the 2016 Presidential election. The case is Common Cause v. Kemp.

Divided District Court Panel Finds Racial Gerrymandering in Texas

Mar. 13 (9:05 AM) - In a 2-1 decision, a 3-judge district court panel determined that Texas legislators unlawfully drew some Congressional districts as part of the redistricting process. The court found that geographical boundaries of certain districts were the result of racial gerrymandering in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The case is Perez v. Abbott.

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Opinion in Virginia Gerrymandering Case

Mar. 1 (4:20 PM) - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in a Virginia redistricting case, sending the case back to the district court to apply the proper standard for determining whether an unconstitutional racial gerrymander has occurred. According to the Supreme Court, an unconstitutional gerrymander can occur even when a redistricting plan follows traditional principles, if race is nevertheless the predominant consideration. The case is Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections.

DOJ Withdraws Discriminatory Intent Claim in Texas Voter ID Case

Feb. 28 (9:37 AM) - Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice withdrew a claim that Texas enacted voter ID legislation with discriminatory intent. This represents a reversal in stance from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration. Private plaintiffs in the case continue to assert this claim, on which the court will eventually issue a decision. The case is Veasey v. Abbott.

U.S. District Judge Rules that Ohio Voter Services Website Violates ADA

Feb. 1 (5:00 AM) - A U.S. District Judge issued an opinion finding that the Ohio Secretary of State\'s voter services website violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not accessible to visually impaired Ohio voters. Judge George C. Smith ordered Secretary of State John Husted to make the site more accessible by September 29, 2017. As discussed in the opinion, the information on the voter services site does not meet established standards of accessibility for visually impaired voters who use screen reading software. The case is Hindel v. Husted.

U.S. District Court Issues Order on Remedy in Wisconsin Redistricting Case

Jan. 27 (5:00 AM) - Three U.S. District Judges today issued an opinion and order on remedies in a case in which the court earlier found an unconstitutional gerrymander by the Wisconsin legislature. The court ordered Wisconsin to enact a new redistricting plan by November 2017. The case is Whitford v. Nichol.

Federal District Court Panel Finds Unconstitutional Gerrymandering in Alabama

Jan. 20 (5:00 AM) - In an opinion released today, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama found unconstitutional gerrymandering in 12 Alabama districts. In a separate concurring and dissenting opinion, one judge on the panel would have found more districts unconstitutionally drawn. The case is Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama.

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Recount Resources

Election Law @ Moritz has assembled a set of resources concerning the topic of elections going into overtime.

Swing State Focus

Media Hotline: (614) 292-0283

EL@M in the News

Edward B. Foley

White House drops Obama-era discrimination claim against Texas voter ID law

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor in an article about how the Trump administration dropped a discrimination claim against a Texas voter ID law. Viewed as one of the strictest voting requirements in the country by voting rights advocates, the law required voters to show one of seven valid forms of ID.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the law disproportionately impacted minorities and those living in poverty. The court required the state to adjust its requirements before the general election. According to court testimony, Hispanic voters were twice as likely to lack proper ID under the law, while black voters were three times as likely.

“Voting litigation is increasing, not decreasing,” Foley said. “The main impression … is that when a law looks like it’s engaging in outright disenfranchisement of a valid voter, even conservative judges have been stopping that. [But] the judiciary is more tolerant with state legislatures adjusting issues of convenience and accessibility, if the adjustment is not outright disenfranchisement.”

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Current Litigation

True the Vote, Inc. v. IRS

State: Washington, D.C.
Issue: 1) Whether True the Vote is exempt from Federal Income tax as a 501(c)(3) organization.

2) Whether the IRS violated True the Vote's First Amendment right of freedom of speech and association.

3) Whether the IRS overstepped its statutory authority in requesting additional information from True the Vote.

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