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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

Information & Analysis

Recent Felon Disenfranchisement Decisions

Two separate courts have ruled on cases dealing with felon disenfranchisement in recent days. In Farrakhan v. Gregoire, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District held that the plaintiffs had “demonstrated that the discriminatory impact of Washington’s felon disenfranchisement is attributable to racial discrimination in Washington’s criminal justice system” and thus the felon disenfranchisement law violates § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The court granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs.

In Janis v. Nelson, the focus was on felons who were removed from voter registration lists after being sentenced to probation, rather than incarceration. The United States District Court for the District of South Dakota denied most of the state defendants’ motions for judgment on the pleadings, keeping alive claims based on federal and state constitutional and statutory grounds. One of the more interesting claims that survived is based on the Help America Vote Act’s state voter registration list maintenance requirements.


Edward B. Foley

Gerrymandering as Viewpoint Discrimination: A "Functional Equivalence" Test

Edward B. Foley

A First Amendment test for identifying when a map is functionally equivalent to a facially discriminatory statute.

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In the News

Daniel P. Tokaji

This is why US election ballots routinely go missing

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in USA Today about the prevalence of missing election ballots.


"Most of the time, it just goes unreported because it doesn't affect the result," Tokaji said. 

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Info & Analysis

Supreme Court Finds Partisan Gerrymandering Claims to be Non-Justiciable Political Questions

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion on Thursday determining that claims of partisan gerrymandering are political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. The opinion resolved disputes originating in North Carolina and Maryland, in the cases of Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek.

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