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Thursday, October 25, 2018

On the Georgia voting case

A district judge in the Northern District of Georgia on Wednesday preliminarily enjoined enforcement of certain regulations, specifically the "exact match" requirements for absentee ballots. Plaintiffs were three voting-rights organizations and a number of individual voters. A few thoughts:

• This is the type of case that Amanda Frost highlights as appropriate for universal* injunctions--time-sensitive and on a large scale. But this case also shows ways to extend the scope of the injunction by extending the scope of litigation. The court found that the voting-rights organizations had direct standing, given the burdens the regulations placed on them in having to notify the public of this problem. The organizations also argued associational standing on behalf of their members, although the court did not address that. The case also would have been perfect for a 23(b)(2) class and the court could have entered a classwide preliminary injunction prior to certification.

[*] Another reason "universal" works better as a term--an injunction halting enforcement of state law can be universal in extending beyond the parties, but not nationwide in any sense. And to then have nationwide and statewide injunctions would add a layer of nomenclature to the identical problem.

• It is interesting that no political party or campaign sued and attempted to assert third-party standing on behalf of voters (the typical path to broad injunctive relief against voting restrictions). This illustrates the way in which the franchise has become a partisan issue--one party wants to make voting more demanding (put aside whether the reasons are valid or not), the other party wants to make voting easier and available for more people (again, put aside whether for valid reasons or not). So a party jumping into a lawsuit, even to protect a neutral principle such as the right to vote, will appear to be acting for partisan advantage. This is especially true in Georgia, where the person making and enforcing the restrictions is a candidate for governor.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on October 25, 2018 at 11:10 AM in Civil Procedure, Constitutional thoughts, Howard Wasserman | Permalink

Comments


Interesting case indeed . Surly , there is no room here for Universal or nationwide injunction , irrelevant simply of course . I don't see how Amanda Frost , referred to it or to such case. But that point you brought here , with political party as third party , is interesting indeed . Seemingly , it is indeed neutral issue . For , mismatch in signatures , has nothing to do , with political affiliation it seems . Here I quote the ACLU complaint , rightly arguing that :


The act of signing one’s name is often viewed as a rote task, a mechanical exercise yielding a fixed signature. A person’s signature, however,
may vary for a variety of reasons, both intentional and unintentional. Unintentional
factors include age, physical and mental condition, disability, medication, stress, accidents, and inherent differences in a person’s neuromuscular coordination and stance. Variants are more prevalent in people who are elderly, disabled, or who speak English as a second language.

End of quotation :

So , English as a second language , may be more associated maybe , with Democrats voters , over Republicans . Maybe , that is why the plaintiffs are : " Georgia Muslim voter project and Asian - Americans advancing justice - Atlanta . But , needs more lengthy verification of course .

Thanks

Posted by: El roam | Oct 25, 2018 1:06:31 PM

Wasserman , it seems that the link posted ( to the ruling ) is broken . So , fix it if you like , or check this one , it seems right now , the right or same ruling :

https://www.acluga.org/sites/default/files/gmvp-v.-kemp-motion-for-tro-and-supporting-brief.pdf

Thanks

Posted by: El roam | Oct 25, 2018 11:24:13 AM

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