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Election Law @ Moritz

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Litigation

NAACP-SCP v. Cortes

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: October 23, 2008 / January 28, 2009
State: Pennsylvania
Issue: Voting Technology
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Case 2:08-cv-05048)

Issue:

Whether polling locations can be required to distribute emergency paper ballots to voters when 50% or more voting machines become inoperable at a specific location.  Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes has issued a directive requiring that paper ballots be distributed when 100% of the voting machines at a polling location have failed.  The plaintiffs, concerned about long lines due to malfunctioning voting machines, allege that not providing emergency paper ballots in cases where there is less than 100% voting machine failure would violate the constitutional rights of voters. 

Status:

Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed on 10/23/08.  Motion for Preliminary Injunction granted on 10/29/08.  Order granting all defendants an extension of time to move, answer or otherwise respond to the complaint until 1/9/09 entered 12/15/08. Motion for Permanent Injunction filed by NAACP on 1/26/09.  Motion for Permanent Injunction Granted 1/28/09.

District Court Documents

Related Links

In the News

Edward B. Foley

Gerrymandering Is Headed Back to the Supreme Court

Professor Edward Foley was requoted in Mother Jones about a gerrymandering case in Wisconsin on its way to the Supreme Court. Other legal actions on partisan gerrymandering in Maryland and in North Carolina may be bound for the Supreme Court as well.

While previous Supreme Court cases have noted that partisan gerrymanders are “incompatible with democratic principles,” The New York Times originally reported, the court has never officially struck a case down. While it remains unseen how the Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming cases, a 2004 ruling from a previous gerrymandering case could play a pivotal role in how the court stands in the future. 

“The ordered working of our Republic, and of the democratic process, depends on a sense of decorum and restraint in all branches of government, and in the citizenry itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in 2004. Kennedy’s statement is “the most important line” in the decision, Foley told The New York Times, adding,  “He’s going to look at what’s going on in North Carolina as the complete absence of that. I think that helps the plaintiffs in any of these cases.”


 

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Info & Analysis

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a gerrymandering case involving Wisconsin state legislative districts. The court also granted a request by the state to temporarily block the lower court\'s decision until the appeal is resolved. The case is Gill v. Whitford.

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