LDF files Amicus Curiae Brief in Moore v. Harper at the U.S. Supreme Court
Lawyers Democracy Fund (LDF) filed an amicus brief at the United States Supreme Court in Moore v. Harper, a case that explores the ability of state legislatures to prescribe the times, places, and manners of elections under the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution and what role state judicial branches can play in that process.
The United States Constitution clearly and succinctly states that the “times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.” U.S. Const. Art. I, § 4, cl. 1. While this language has been historically recognized to be an exclusive grant of authority to state legislatures, this case brings forth a simple but complicated question: what role do state judiciaries have in this process?
LDF’s brief took an academic approach to the issue, highlighting the longstanding and exclusive role that state legislatures possess under the Elections Clause to prescribe the rules of elections and how the Elections Clause fails to empower state judicial branches with the authority to nullify the regulations passed by the legislature and replace them with regulations of the state courts’ own devising.
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LDF Publishes Database of Redistricting Literature
LDF serves as a resource for lawyers, journalists, policymakers, courts, and others interested in the electoral process. Therefore, LDF regularly conducts, funds, and publishes research and in-depth analysis regarding the effectiveness of current and proposed election methods, including the decennial redistricting process.
LDF recently filed an amicus curiae brief at the United States Supreme Court in Merrill v. Milligan to advocate for clear standards in the application of the Voting Rights Act in the redistricting process, and LDF is pleased to publish a database of redistricting literature as a resource for those interested in redistricting.
To access this database, click here.
LDF Files Amicus Brief, Helps Achieve Victory in Delaware Mail Voting Case
Lawyers Democracy Fund filed an amicus brief at the Delaware Supreme Court in Higgin v. Albence, a case that challenges the Delaware General Assembly’s power under the state constitution to enact universal mail voting without going through the constitutional amendment process. LDF’s brief laid out for the Court the many reasons why Delaware’s no-excuse mail voting law violated the state Constitution.
After the 2020 election, the Delaware General Assembly enacted no-excuse mail voting. But as LDF’s amicus brief made clear, the General Assembly doesn’t have the power to enact no-excuse mail without first amending the Constitution, just as the General Assembly has been required to do numerous times in the past to expand the classes of voters who are eligible to vote by mail.
On October 7, 2022, the Delaware Supreme Court agreed with LDF’s brief and struck down the new mail voting law as an unconstitutional expansion of the limited classes of voters permitted to vote by absentee ballot under the Delaware Constitution. The Court issued its full opinion on December 16, 2022, agreeing with LDF and finding that the “Vote-by-Mail Statute runs counter to a time-honored understanding shared by our courts, the General Assembly, and the Department, that the General Assembly is not free to limit or enlarge upon the categories of citizens specifically enumerated in [the constitution] who need not vote in person in general elections.”
LDF is proud of this timely victory and applauds the Delaware Supreme Court’s decision to uphold decades of precedent and the rule of law in elections!
LDF Successfully Asks the U.S. Supreme Court to Vacate Troublesome Third Circuit Opinion that Wrongly Applied the Materiality Provision of the Voting Rights Act
Since its enactment over 50 years ago, the Materiality Provision of the Voting Rights Act has been interpreted to preclude election officials from disqualifying a voter’s registration for immaterial errors, such as minor misspelling errors or for other trivial reasons.
Yet, the Third Circuit recently broke new ground in a novel decision that held the Materiality Provision could be used to preempt commonsense and meaningful ballot qualification requirements, namely Pennsylvania’s requirement that voters include the date on their absentee ballots.
To defend the compelling interests that states have in enforcing reasonable ballot qualification requirements––such as date, signature, and delivery requirements––LDF filed an amicus brief at the United States Supreme Court in Ritter v. Migliori, asking the Court to vacate the Third Circuit’s abhorrent decision.
On October 11, 2022, the Supreme Court agreed with LDF’s amicus brief, granted certiorari, and vacated the Third Circuit’s ruling with instructions to dismiss as moot under the Munsingwear doctrine in a major victory for election integrity!
Below are LDF’s media hits in the latter half of 2022. To stay up to date on election integrity news, follow Lawyers Democracy Fund (@lawyersdf) on Twitter. LDF Vice President Tom Spencer was featured in the Carolina Journal for his appearance on the John Locke Foundation’s panel discussing…
The assault on voter ID in North Carolina continues. On Friday, December 16, 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Holmes v. Moore, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s law requiring photo ID to vote. Lawyers Democracy Fund filed an amicus brief…
Pending before the Delaware Supreme Court is Higgin v. Albence, a case that challenges the Delaware General Assembly’s power under the state constitution to enact universal mail voting without going through the constitutional amendment process. Lawyers Democracy fund filed an amicus curiae brief in Higgin to lay out for the Court…