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Equal Protection

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Contains
Contains
Format: 2020
Greater than or equal to
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ACLU of Minnesota v. Kiffmeyer (James M. Rosenbaum, D. Minn. 0:04-cv-4653)
The court determined that recognizing tribal photo identification cards as proof of both identity and address only if the voter resided on a reservation violated equal protection. While the case was pending, the legislature brought the state’s law into compliance.
Topics: Voter identification; Help America Vote Act (HAVA); equal protection.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Bryanton v. Johnson (Paul D. Borman, E.D. Mich. 2:12-cv-14114)
On September 17, 2012, a county clerk and three voters filed a federal complaint against the state’s secretary of state challenging her planned inclusion of a citizenship verification question on ballot applications in the upcoming general election. The district court heard a motion for a preliminary injunction on October 5. After a six-hour hearing, the court granted the injunction. The ballot application question violated equal protection because it was not applied uniformly and because evidence at the hearing showed that voters who failed to check the box would still be permitted to vote.
Topics: Citizenship; equal protection; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana v. Heller (James C. Mahan, D. Nev. 2:04-cv-1035)
Supporters of an initiative to regulate marijuana filed a federal complaint, claiming that Nevada had improperly disqualified signatures on their ballot petition. Three days later, the district judge enjoined the state from taking any action that would prevent the court from providing the plaintiffs with further injunctive relief. One month later, the judge invalidated a state provision requiring a minimum number of signatures from a supermajority of counties for a ballot measure, because the provision favored voters in small counties. Because the judge left in place a provision that resulted in the disqualification of signatures by voters who may not have registered before signing the ballot petition, the initiative failed to qualify for the election. The court of appeals affirmed the district judge’s decisions.
Topics: Ballot measure; getting on the ballot; equal protection; registration procedures.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Bell v. Marinko (James G. Carr, N.D. Ohio 3:02-cv-7204)
With a primary election 18 days away, a voter filed a federal complaint seeking injunctive relief against the county’s hearing a challenge to his voter registration on residency grounds. The district court determined that challenge procedures did not violate the National Voter Registration Act, but there was a probable equal protection violation by a statutory provision raising a question of residence for spouses not separated and not registered in the same precinct. The court temporarily enjoined application of that statutory provision. After the election, the court heard summary judgment motions on an amended complaint adding plaintiffs whose residency challenges were successful; the original plaintiff prevailed in his challenge. The district court dismissed the action, and the court of appeals affirmed.
Topics: Registration challenges; equal protection; National Voter Registration Act; primary election.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Green Party of Michigan v. Land (Nancy G. Edmunds, E.D. Mich. 2:08-cv-10149)
Four days before a January 15 presidential primary, minor parties filed a federal complaint challenging a statute specifying that party-preference data would be given only to the major parties. Approximately one month later, after the secretary of state answered the complaint, the plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order. The district court held a status conference 12 days later and heard the motion two days after that. On the following day, the district court temporarily enjoined the state from providing anyone with the party-preference data. On March 26, the district court declared the provision of party-preference data only to major parties to be a violation of equal protection.
Topics: Equal protection; primary election; laches.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Vanzant v. Brunner (Susan J. Dlott, S.D. Ohio 1:10-cv-596)
A federal complaint filed two months before the 2010 general election alleged an equal protection violation because some counties were more generous than others in facilitating absentee voting. The district judge denied relief.
Subject: Absentee and early voting. Topics: Absentee ballots; equal protection.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Doe v. Attorney General (George Z. Singal, D. Me. 1:00-cv-206)
One month before the 2000 general election, three women under psychiatric guardianships filed a federal complaint challenging Maine’s exclusion of persons under such guardianships from the right to vote. Approximately three weeks later, the court denied injunctive relief. On a more complete record the following year, the court invalidated the franchise exclusion.
Topic: Equal protection.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This monograph consists of an overview of the law of redistricting, a summary of statistical techniques frequently used in redistricting litigation, and a discussion of some of the major case management challenges presented by such cases. The legal overview focuses on Voting Rights Act, Equal Protection Clause, and one person-one vote cases. The Center prepared this monograph as a resource for judges assigned cases challenging legislative redistricting plans developed in response to the 2000 census.

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