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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Litigation

 

One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen

Case Information

Date Filed: May 29, 2015
State: Wisconsin
Issues: Voter ID, Early Voting, Student Voting
Current Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Case 16-3091, 16-3083)

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

Status:

Complaint filed on 5/29/15. Amended complaint filed 6/22/16. Answer filed 7/22/15. Motion to Dismiss filed 7/22/15. Opinion and Order on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss filed 12/17/15. Motion for summary judgment filed by defendants 1/11/16. Second amended complaint filed 3/25/16. Trial beginning May 16. District Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law filed 7/29/16. Motion to Stay filed 8/3/16. Notice of Appeal filed 8/3/16. Petition for Initial En Banc Review filed 8/3/16. Motion to Expedite filed 8/3/16. District Court Order denying stay in substantial part filed 8/11/16. Emergency Motion to Stay filed in Seventh Circuit 8/12/16. 7th Circuit Order Denying Initial En Banc Hearing filed 8/26/16. Appellants' Brief and Appendix filed 9/12/16. Status Report on Efforts to Inform Public filed 9/22/16. District Court Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Remedy in Part 10/13/16. Appellees' Brief in Seventh Circuit filed 10/21/16. Final Appendix filed 12/7/16. Oral Argument scheduled for 1/17/17. Oral Argument rescheduled for 2/24/17.

 

District Court Documents

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals documents

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

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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Info & Analysis

District Judge Dismisses Georgia Voter Rolls Case

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.

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