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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

Edward B. Foley

When Should a Voter’s “Clerical Error” Invalidate a Ballot?

Edward B. Foley

Not when the state already has enough information to verify the ballot’s validity.

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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.”

more EL@M in the news...

Info & Analysis

Michigan Federal Judge Blocks Law Prohibiting Straight Ticket Voting

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain issued an opinion blocking enforcement of a Michigan law prohibiting straight-ticket voting. This voting method allows voters to easily select the entire slate of candidates on the ballot from a particular party. Michigan abolished straight-ticket voting by enacting a law effective in January. In granting the plaintffs\' motion for a preliminary injunction, Judge Drain determined that the law \"presents a disproportionate burden on African-Americans\' right to vote.\" The case is Michigan State A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Johnson.

more info & analysis...