OSU Navigation Bar

Election Law @ Moritz Home Page

Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Litigation

Berger v. Barbour

Case Information

Date Filed: January 1, 2008
State: Mississippi
Issues: Voting Technology, Ballot Access
Courts that Heard this Case: Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County (Case 251-08-694CIV); Mississippi Supreme Court (Case 2008-M-01534-SCT)

Issue:

Whether the Mississippi special election between Republican Roger Wicker and Democrat Ronnie Musgrove for the Senate should appear near the top of the November 4th, so as to appear next to other federal races, or whether it should appear at the bottom of the ballot so as to clearly distinguish the race as a "special election." 

Status:

Plaintiff filed her Complaint with the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County.  The Circuit Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on 9/10/08; however, the Defendants successfully applied to the Mississippi Supreme Court to have the TRO set aside.  The Circuit Court subsequently ordered the Defendants to put the Senate race near the top of the ballot on 9/12/08.  The Defendants have appealed this order to the Mississippi Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court ruled that placement of the race at the bottom of the ballot was illegal, but they did not order the governor to change the ballot.  Governor Barbour has agreed to move the race to the top of the ballot.  

Supreme Court Documents

  • Motion # 2008 - 2599 Petition for Extraordinary Writ Vacating and Setting Aside Temporary Restraining Order, or in the Alternative for Interlocutory Appeal with Immediately Stay, and for Other Relief (filed 9/10/08)
  • Order Entered Motion # 2008 - 2599 (entered 9/10/08)
  • Motion # 2008 - 2639 Petition for Extraordinary Writ Vacating Writ of Mandamus, Reversing and Rendering Declaratory Judgment, and Motion to Suspend the Rules, for Emergency Stay, and for Other Relief (filed 9/12/08)
  • Order Entered (entered 9/12/08)
  • Response filed Motion # 2008 - 2639 (filed 9/15/08)
  • Motion - 2008-2639 - Brief of Amicus Curiae State of Mississippi (filed 9/15/08)
  • Response filed Motion # 2008 - 2639 (filed 9/15/08)
  • Order Entered (entered 9/16/08)
  • Case Argued and Submitted (filed 9/17/08)
  • En Banc Order PDF (entered 9/18/08)

Circuit Court Documents

Related EL@M Stories

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.

more commentary...

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.”
 

more EL@M in the news...

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.

more info & analysis...