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Emergency Proceedings

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Format: 2019
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Underwood v. Gulley (Madeline Hughes Haikala, N.D. Ala. 2:18-cv-1310)
A federal judge denied plaintiffs a preliminary injunction to prevent municipal officers from overseeing an election scheduled days later. Although there was evidence of improper activity in the past, the evidence was not strong enough to show that interference with the upcoming election was justified.
Subject: Voting procedures. Topics: Enjoining elections; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Shelby Advocates for Valid Elections v. Hargett (Thomas L. Parker, W.D. Tenn. 2:18-cv-2706)
A district judge denied immediate relief from the use of digital electronic voting machines that did not provide a paper record of votes. The judge did not find use of such machines fundamentally unfair. Nearly a year later, the judge dismissed an amended complaint as no more than a generalized grievance.
Subject: Voting procedures. Topics: Voting technology; early voting.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Spirit Lake Tribe v. Jaeger (Daniel L. Hovland, D.N.D. 1:18-cv-222)
Although acknowledging that the plaintiffs’ claims were not without merit, a district judge denied immediate relief in a suit challenging the application of a voter identification to residents of Indian reservations. The plaintiffs claimed that Native American voters often did not have recognized residential street addresses. But the complaint was filed only one week before the election.
Subject: Voter identification. Topics: Voter identification; laches; interlocutory appeal.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

O’Neil v. Hosemann (Daniel P. Jordan III, S.D. Miss. 3:18-cv-815)
On the day before a runoff election, plaintiffs sought a federal court injunction requiring the counting of absentee ballots post-marked by election day instead of received by the day before election day. The federal judge decided that the request for relief was too late and the relief requested too disruptive.
Subject: Absentee ballots. Topics: Absentee ballots; laches.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Acevedo v. Cook County Officers Electoral Board (Elaine E. Bucklo, 1:18-cv-293) and Kowalski McDonald v. Cook County Officers’ Electoral Board (John J. Tharp., Jr., 1:18-cv-1277) (N.D. Ill.)
Two cases challenged the larger number of signatures required to get on a primary election ballot in Cook County than would be required to get on a primary election ballot for statewide office. Both district judges and the court of appeals ruled against the plaintiffs.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

LULAC Kansas v. Cox (Daniel D. Crabtree, D. Kan. 2:18-cv-2572)
The district judge denied an emergency injunction against moving a town’s sole polling place to a location outside of town after the judge heard testimony that voters would be provided with transportation to the new location.
Subject: Voting procedures. Topics: Poll locations; recusal; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Libertarian Party of Maryland v. Maryland State Board of Elections (George L. Russell III, D. Md. 1:18-cv-2825)
A federal district judge declined to block a state court’s removal of a minor party’s nomination because the nomination violated party rules against nominating members of other parties.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; matters for state courts; party procedures.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Napierski v. Guilderland Democratic Committee (Glenn T. Suddaby, N.D.N.Y. 1:18-cv-846)
A district judge denied relief to a prospective candidate who challenged the plaintiff’s party picking nominees for local offices using a caucus instead of a primary election, as other parties used. Receptive to claims that the caucus would not be adequately accessible to persons with disabilities, however, the judge obtained remedial assurances from the defendants.
Subject: Voting procedures. Topics: Getting on the ballot; party procedures; primary election; enjoining elections; equal protection; recusal; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (1:17-cv-1320), ACLU v. Trump (1:17-cv-1351), and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (1:17-cv-1354) (Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, D.D.C.) and Joyner v. Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity (Marcia G. Cooke, S.D. Fla. 1:17-cv-22568)
In mid-2017, President Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission’s vice chair asked all states to submit extensive voter registration data to the commission. Following states’ reluctance to comply and lawsuits challenging the request, President Trump disbanded the commission early in 2018.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: Registration procedures; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Schmitt v. Husted (Edmund A. Sargus., Jr., S.D. Ohio 2:18-cv-966)
As an election approached, a district judge enjoined local election board discretion to keep an initiative off the ballot without review more available than a writ of mandamus. The court of appeals, however, concluded that mandamus relief was not so insurmountable as to require federal judicial intervention.
Subject: Ballot measures. Topics: Ballot measure; getting on the ballot.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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