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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Litigation

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Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus

Case Information

Date Filed: October 4, 2010
State: Ohio
Issue: Improper Election Communications
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Case 1:10-cv-720); U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Case 11-3894, 11-3925); U.S. Supreme Court (Case 13-193)

Issue:

1. To challenge a speech-suppressive law, must a party whose speech is arguably proscribed prove that authorities would certainly and successfully prosecute or should the court presume that a credible threat of prosecution exists absent desuetude or a firm commitment by prosecutors not to enforce the law?

2. Whether state laws proscribing “false” political speech are subject to pre-enforcement First Amendment review so long as the speaker maintains that the speech is true, even if others who enforce the law manifestly disagree.

Status:

District Court Orders granting motions to dismiss of Ohio Election Commission et al filed 8/1/11. Sixth Circuit opinion filed 5/13/13. Petition for Certiorari filed 8/9/13. Brief of State Respondents in Opposition filed 11/27/13. Reply Brief of Petitioners filed 12/11/13. Petition for Certiorari granted 1/10/14. Brief of Petitioners filed 2/24/14. Argument held on April 22, 2014. Opinion reversing lower court issued June 16, 2014. Motion to expedite opinion filed 7/24/14. Mandate filed 7/24/14. Order by District Court permanently enjoining enforcement of political false-statements law filed 9/11/14. Sixth Circuit Order affirming judgment of District  Court filed 3/6/15.

U.S. Supreme Court Documents

Circuit Court Documents

District Court Documents

Commentary

Daniel P. Tokaji

Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President? Letís Find Out

Daniel P. Tokaji

Donald Trump has revived the question whether Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to serve as President due to his birth in Canada. The issue cries out for judicial resolution, but there are constitutional and prudential obstacles to a federal court deciding it.  This comment argues that the most promising avenue  is a state court lawsuit challenging Senator Cruz’s eligibility and seeking his removal from the primary ballot. There’s at least one state – Pennsylvania – where the deadline for filing hasn’t yet expired, but if skeptics of Cruz’s eligibility want to sue there they must act quickly, no later than Tuesday. Litigating the case through state court would tee up the issue for Supreme Court review, which would be helpful in resolving the recurrent question of what it means to be a “natural born Citizen."

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

An Obscure Ohio State Law Could Shake Up the Republican Convention

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an ABC News article about the Republican Convention:

“It’s entirely imaginable that these kind of controversies will emerge if Donald Trump goes into Cleveland without 1,237,” said Dan Tokaji, an expert in election law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, referring the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. “There’s going to be a furious jockeying for these delegates.”

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Info & Analysis

U.S. District Judge Rules for Plaintiffs in Ohio Early Voting Case

Today, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in an Ohio early voting case, determining that Ohio\'s reduction of in-person early voting days violated Equal Protection and the Voting Rights Act. Judge Watson dismissed additional claims brought by the plaintiffs. A bench trial was held in late 2015. The case is Ohio Democratic Party v. Husted.

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