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

Daniel P. Tokaji

The Supreme Court and the RIght to Vote

Daniel P. Tokaji

For over 130 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that the right to vote fundamental. The idea is that voting for candidates who represent our views is the primary means through which we protect our interests, whatever they might be.  Yet ecent events raise serious questions about the currently short-staffed Supreme Court’s capacity to protect the right to vote against 21st Century threats. 

more commentary...

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

6th Circuit Reverses District Court, Rules Against State in Ohio Voter Rolls Case

In an opinion issued today, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio\'s procedures for removing voters from registration rolls violates the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act. The case is Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute v. Husted.

more info & analysis...