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Litigation

 

Banfield v. Cortes

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: August 15, 2006 / April 4, 2008
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Voting Technology
Courts that Heard this Case: Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania (Case No. 442 MD 2006); Pennsylvania Supreme Court (Case No. 70 MM 2007); Pennsylvania Supreme Court (Case No. 83 MAP 2013)

Issue:

Whether Pennsylvania’s use of DREs (direct recording electronic voting machines) violates Pennsylvania or federal law; whether the Secretary of the Commonwealth is required to re-examine the electronic voting system at request of electors.

Status:

Motions for Summary Judgment filed 8/8/11 by both Petitioner and Respondent. Opinion denying petitioners' motion for partial summary judgment issued 8/29/12. Status Conference scheduled for 1/29/13. Counts 1, 4, 5, and 6 dismissed on 1/29/13. Memorandum and opinion filed 10/1/13. Notice of Appeal filed 10/11/13. Notice of Judgment in favor of respondent filed 10/15/14. Appellant's Brief filed in Supreme Court on 1/6/14. Appellee's Brief filed 2/10/14. Appellant's Reply Brief filed 2/24/14. Pennsylvania Supreme Court oral argument held 9/10/14. Opinion affirming Commonwealth Court filed 2/18/15.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Documents

Commonwealth Court Documents

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Commentary

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral Fix We Really Need

Edward B. Foley

The Electoral College winner should be the majority choice in each state that counts towards that Electoral College victory.

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In the News

Edward B. Foley

Gerrymandering Is Headed Back to the Supreme Court

Professor Edward Foley was requoted in Mother Jones about a gerrymandering case in Wisconsin on its way to the Supreme Court. Other legal actions on partisan gerrymandering in Maryland and in North Carolina may be bound for the Supreme Court as well.

While previous Supreme Court cases have noted that partisan gerrymanders are “incompatible with democratic principles,” The New York Times originally reported, the court has never officially struck a case down. While it remains unseen how the Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming cases, a 2004 ruling from a previous gerrymandering case could play a pivotal role in how the court stands in the future. 

“The ordered working of our Republic, and of the democratic process, depends on a sense of decorum and restraint in all branches of government, and in the citizenry itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in 2004. Kennedy’s statement is “the most important line” in the decision, Foley told The New York Times, adding,  “He’s going to look at what’s going on in North Carolina as the complete absence of that. I think that helps the plaintiffs in any of these cases.”


 

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Info & Analysis

Three-Judge Panel Finds Voting Rights Act and Constitutional Violations in Creation of Texas House of Representatives Districts

A little over a month after ruling that Texas\' Congressional redistricting plan violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Consistution, a three-judge panel similarly ruled (2-1) with regard to the creation of Texas\' state-level House of Representatives districts. The court issued a 171-page order in which it ruled for the state on some claims. The court also made separate findings of fact. The case is Perez v. Abbott.

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