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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

Latest Information & Analysis   

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

Aug. 5 (2:48 PM) - 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.

D.C. Circuit Upholds Campaign Finance Statute

Jul. 7 (5:05 PM) - In an opinion issued today, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a federal statute barring individuals who have government contracts from making political campaign contributions. The case is Wagner v. FEC.

SCOTUS Upholds Arizona Redistricting Commission

Jun. 29 (12:29 PM) - In an opinion released today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arizona\'s use of an independent commission to draw the boundaries of federal Congressional districts. The Court determined that the commission is permissible under the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution and 2 U.S.C. 2a(c). The case is Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

New Ohio Voting Case Filed

May. 12 (8:37 AM) - Several plaintiffs recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleging that voting laws enacted by Ohio's Republican-controlled General Assembly since November 2012 violate various federal constitutional provisions as well as the Voting Rights Act. According to the complaint, the General Assembly has enacted laws that burden all Ohio voters but that were designed to and will disproportionately burden specific populations, particularly African-Americans, Latinos, and young people. The case is Ohio Organizing Collaborative v. Husted.

SCOTUS Decides Florida Case Involving Judicial Campaign Contributions

Apr. 29 (2:05 PM) - In an opinion released today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Florida Bar rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign funds. The case is Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar.

Ohio Early Voting Case Settles

Apr. 17 (3:44 PM) - Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a statement today indicating that an early voting lawsuit filed against him has been settled. See also the news release from the ACLU as well as the settlement agreement filed with the court. The case is NAACP v. Husted.

SCOTUS Reverses Lower Court in Alabama Redistricting Case

Mar. 25 (11:19 AM) - In a 5-4 decision released today, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the District Court, which found that Alabama's redistricting plan did not violate the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution. 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


Edward B. Foley

The Constitution Needed a Judicial Assist

Edward B. Foley

“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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News Wire

The latest election law news from across the country...last updated August 13 (11:21 AM).

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EL@M 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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Current Litigation

One Wisconsin Institute v. Nichol

State: Wisconsin
Issue: Whether several Wisconsin statutes (Act 23, Act 240, Act 76, Act 177, Act 75, Act 227, Wis. Stat. §§ 6.855-.86, Wis. Stat. § 5.02, Wis. Stat. § 6.34, Wis. Stat. § 6.79, and Wis. Stat. § 6.97) are in violation of: Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the First Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Counts are as follows.

Count I: Violations of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act

Count II: Undue Burdens on the Right to Vote in Violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Count III: Disparate Treatment of Voters without a Rational Basis in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Count IV: Partisan Fencing in Violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

Count V: Abridgment or Denial of the Right to Vote on the Basis of Race in Violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment

Count VI: Abridgment or Denial of the Right to Vote on the Basis of Age in Violation of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment

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