Sixth Circuit Panel, 2-1, Vacates Order
October 11, 2008
In Ohio Republican Party v. Brunner, the majority ruled that the district court's order, coming so close to Election Day, was unduly disruptive and thus improper. The Republicans could have challenged the Secretary of State's procedures for verifying new voter registrations much earlier in the electoral process and thus, according to the opinion, should not be permitted such “late-game litigation.” The majority further opined that the Secretary was unlikely in violation of the Help America Vote Act. While “it would be nice if the system printed out a list of individuals . . . that did not match,” the majority concluded that “HAVA does not require that level of user-friendliness.” The dissenting judge accused the panel majority of both (1) an “astounding and deeply disturbing” “lack of concern for the integrity of the electoral process” and (2) a failure to follow the Sixth Circuit’s own internal procedures by releasing its decision before the full appeals court could rule on the matter. It is possible that the full Sixth Circuit will still do so, as a request for that action remains pending. DISCLOSURE. See Litigation Tracker page here.