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Election Law @ Moritz

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Litigation

Ohio Republican Party et al v. Brunner

Case Information

Date Filed / Ended: September 26, 2008 / October 17, 2008
State: Ohio
Issues: Absentee Ballots, Early Voting, Voter Registration
Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Case 2:08-cv-00913); U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (Case 08-4242, 08-4243, 08-4322); U.S. Supreme Court (Case 08A332)

Issue:

Whether Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's directive (2008-63), which gives voters a five-day window (30-35 days before the election) within which they may simultaneously register and receive an absentee ballot, impermissibly conflicts with state statutory election laws.  Plaintiffs are also challenge Advisory 2008-24, in which Secretary Brunner advises county boards of elections that they are not required to permit party observers at polling places during this period of time.  Plaintiffs are also alleging violations of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

DISCLOSURE

Status:

The district court issued the TRO on 10/10/10.  A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit vacated this TRO on 10/11/08; however, a full panel of the appellate court, in an en banc review, reinstated the district court's TRO on 10/14/08.  The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the TRO in a per curiam decision released on 10/17/08.  The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in the district court on 11/4/08.

District Court Documents

U.S. Supreme Court Documents

Court of Appeals Documents - Second Appeal (08-4322)

Court of Appeals Documents - First Appeal (08-4242, 08-4243)

Related Links

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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.

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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 Affirms District Court: NC Redistricting Unconstitutional

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the District Court, finding that North Carolina\'s Congressional redistricting plan violated the U.S. Constitution. The Court determined that racial considerations unlawfully predominated the designing of the contested districts. The case is Cooper v. Harris.

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