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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz



Rucho v. Common Cause

Case Information

Date Filed: August 5, 2016
State: North Carolina
Issue: Redistricting
Current Court: U.S. Supreme Court (Case 18-422 )


Whether North Carolina's 2016 Congressional Redistricting Plan violates:

(1) the First Amendment;

(2) the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

(3) the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

(4) Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution because representatives would allegedly not be chosen by "the people of the several states" but in effect by the majority party of the state legislature; and

(5) Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution regarding state legislatures' authority to prescribe the times, places, and manner of holding elections.


Complaint filed 8/5/16. Time to file answer extended to 10/31/16. Answer filed 3/3/17. Opinion and Order denying motion to dismiss filed 3/3/17. Parties' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law filed 6/5/17. Defendants' Motion for Stay filed 6/26/17. Responses to Motion for Stay filed 7/17/17. Order Denying Stay filed 8/29/17 with Memorandum Opinion filed 9/8/17. Notice of Bench Trial starting Oct. 16, 2017 filed 9/11/17. Parties' Post-Trial Briefs and Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law filed 11/6/17. Opinion finding unconstitutional gerrymander filed 1/9/18. Emergency Motion to Stay Pending Supreme Court Review filed 1/11/18. Order granting stay filed 1/18/18. Motions to affirm by Common Cause and League of Women Voters filed 4/27/18. Reply filed 5/15/18. Order vacating judgment and remanding to District Court in light of Gill v. Whitford filed 6/25/18. Supreme Court Judgement filed 7/30/18. Memorandum Opinion of District Court: under the test set forth in Gill, at least one Plaintiff registered to vote in each of the thirteen districts in the 2016 Plan has standing to assert an Equal Protection challenge to each of those districts; court found unconstitutional gerrymandering in the opinion filed 8/28/18. Notice of Appeal to Supreme Court filed 8/31/18. Emergency Motion to Stay filed 8/31/18. Appeal to Supreme Court case 18-422 filed 10/10/18. Further consideration of the question of jurisdiction is POSTPONED to the hearing of the case on the merits. The case will be set for argument in the March argument session filed 1/4/19. Consolidated with Lamone v. Benisek, opinion filed 6/27/19 vacating and remanding district court's decision, and determining that claims of partisan gerrymandering are political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Supreme Court Judgment 8/1/19. District Court Dismissal 9/5/19. Joint Motion for Dismissal of Costs 10/18/19. Brief in Support of Motion For Dismissal 10/18/19. Brief in Opposition of Motion for Dismissal of Costs 10/25/19. Order granting plaintiff's motion for disallowance of costs and denying in part  and granting in part defendant's request for an award of costs 4/19/20. 


District Court Documents

U.S. Supreme Court Documents



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.

more info & analysis...