LDF Supports Lawsuit by Two Disenfranchised Voters Against Luzerne County, PA
Lawyers Democracy Fund (LDF) has backed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of two voters whose constitutional right to vote was violated by the County of Luzerne, Pennsylvania, on Election Day 2022.
Plaintiffs William French and Melynda Anne Reese attempted to vote at their assigned polling places on Election Day but were turned away due to a catastrophic paper shortage caused by Defendants’ noncompliance with the clear requirements of the Pennsylvania Election Code for the minimum number of paper ballots each polling place must have. Mr. French, a disabled Army veteran, and Ms. Reese, a caregiver to her dependent husband, both tried multiple times to vote on Election Day but could not vote due to Luzerne County’s failures.
To learn more, click here.
To read the complaint, click here.
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.
To read more, click here.
To read LDF’s brief in its entirety, click here.
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!
To read more, click here.
To view LDF’s amicus brief in its entirety, click here.
To read the Delaware Supreme Court’s order, click here.
To read the Delaware Supreme Court’s full opinion, click here.
LDF-Backed Lawsuit Featured by The Federalist
Election Day 2022 was a disaster in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. A massive failure by the county to provide enough paper ballots caused voting difficulties across the county. In an order extending the poll hours, Judge Lisa Gelb wrote that voters “were disenfranchised and denied the fundamental right to vote.” …
Recent LDF Media Hits
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…
North Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down Reasonable Voter ID Law on Partisan Grounds
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…