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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz


Sandy Colloquy

This is a colloquy concerning the response to Hurricane Sandy

Sandy Colloquy 1: Could Election Day Be Washed Out?

Could Election Day be washed out? With Hurricane Sandy and Election Day upon us, this perfect storm could lead to a very imperfect election.

Hurricane Sandy has the potential to disrupt elections in key swing states. It is already affecting Virginia and its future path could wreak havoc in New Hampshire or Ohio and other states with close congressional races.

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Sandy Colloquy 2: Can Paper Save Election Day from Sandy?

This comment is part of a colloquy initiated by John Fortier's thoughts on the potential implications of Hurricane Sandy for this year's election.

John raises important questions, both about how to handle the electoral implications of Hurricane Sandy specifically and also more broadly about how states and the federal government can better prepare for future emergencies that disrupt voting on Election Day.

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Sandy Colloquy 3: Unintended Consequences

[This post continues a colloquy begun yesterday. Read Steve Huefner's initial post here; read John Fortier's first post here; read Ned Foley's first post here.]

The winds are still blowing here in Virginia, so the question of how the storm might affect our election is a live one. Ned Foley, as he often does, has deepened the discussion of this question, and he has turned our focus to the exact issue at hand.

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Sandy Colloquy 4: Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Election, and Some Room for Compromise

[This post continues a colloquy begun yesterday. Read Steve Huefner's initial post here; read John Fortier's first post here; read Ned Foley's first post here; read John Fortier's second post here.

National disasters bring the country together. In the aftermath of the shooting at a "Congress on Your Corner" event featuring Representative Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, the United States reflected on our politics and civil discourse. Indeed, just two weeks later Members of Congress sat next to their political opponents at the State of the Union address to exhibit a sense of bipartisanship. The country demonstrated similar rallying behind President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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Sandy Colloquy 5: Making Every Effort to Vote On-time

If modern American political history is any guide, every effort will be made to conduct the election on its regularly scheduled date in all states affected by Sandy, for the simple reason that the USA (and the world, given the USA's out-sized importance to it since the 1940's) needs to have a result very quickly in order to make a smooth, effective transition possible if the challenger wins. That real-world pressure heavily affected the Bush v. Gore litigation's resolution. And so unless conditions are truly unworkable, in major metro areas especially, I expect the election to go forward on Nov. 6th, even if the results are messy in the sense that some voters don't show up for weather-related reasons and some machines fail and voters are asked to fill out paper ballots for that reason.

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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 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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