State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: judicial elections (page 2 of 2)

Weekly Wrap Up

Emanuel got the green light for candidacy: Rahm Emanuel can run for Chicago mayor, after a unanimous decision by the Illinois Supreme Court. The Court found that he meets the residency requirements because he paid taxes and maintained a residence he planned to use as his permanent residence–even though he rented it out–in Chicago while working in the White House.

Every vote counts in Ohio: A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on January 27 that ballots improperly cast because of errors by poll workers must be counted in the judicial election in Hamilton County. Although the exact number of ballots that must now be counted is unknown, Democrats claim it could be in the hundreds. Republican John Williams currently leads by 23 votes.

Is there a fight brewing over Fair Districts in Florida?: In one of his first acts as governor, Rick Scott withdrew the request to the Justice Department to approve the redistricting amendments passed by voters in November. The amendments are also currently being challenged in court in a lawsuit filed by two U.S. Representatives from Florida.

Voters Demand a Fair and Impartial Judiciary: NOW WHAT?!

The other candidate is lazy, soft on crime; a politician.  These are the accusations blaring over Alabama airwaves, but you would be mistaken to think that 2012 White House hopefuls have begun campaigning.  No, these are the television spots for Alabama Supreme Court candidates.  These messages and others like them are often funded by large interest groups like the Alabama Democratic Party, and linked with the plaintiffs’ bar, the Business Council of Alabama, and groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.  According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, Alabama’s judicial elections are the most expensive in the nation, with Supreme Court candidates having raised $40.9 million from 2000-2009. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

A 1996 Federal Appeals Court decision is forcing DC TV stations to air “anti-abortion porn.” Missy Smith is a candidate for the DC congressional seat, though many people claim that she is simply an “anti-abortion extremist, who has found a cheap way to get some truly disgusting images onto daytime and primetime TV.” The 1996 federal appeals court decision prevents any censorship of election ads. Prior to this case, FCC Chairman Mark Fowler advised that “The no censorship prohibition in Section 315 was intended to override the statutory prohibition against the broadcast of obscene or indecent materials that is etched in Section 1464 of the Criminal Code” (cited in Gillett Communications v. Becker, 1992). Since the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down the FCC’s “decency” regulations, freeing the airwaves for uncensored material, so it’s unlikely that Becker will be overturned soon. In the meantime, the video has been removed from YouTube because it violates its policy on “shocking and disgusting content.”

The National Organization of Marriage (NOM), a group opposing gay marriage, is trying to fund an ad in support of Carl Paladino in NY while skirting the election law requiring them to reveal their donors.  Accordingly, they have asked a federal judge to declare NY Election Law §14-100.1 unconstitutional, alleging that it chills their freedom of speech.  NOM would fall under the reporting requirement because they have the goal of “seeing the success of defeat of…political principle[s].” Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up

Virginia governor Robert McDonnell is outpacing his Democratic predecessors in restoring voting rights to felons. McDonnell, known as a law-and-order attorney general, has approved 780 of 889 applications — approximately 88 percent of applications — since taking office in January. His predecessors, Democrats Timothy Kaine and Mark Warner, restored the rights of 4,402 and 3,486 felons, respectively. McDonnell revamped the process for restoring voting rights to felons, reducing the wait time for nonviolent felons to two years, allowing applicants to submit documents online, and self-imposing a deadline of 60 days after the application is complete to make a decision. Even as this process continues, however, 300,000 people in Virginia remain disenfranchised.

Rahm Emanuel may be out of a job. The same day that the White House announced he was leaving his post as Chief of Staff to run for mayor of Chicago, attorney Burt Odelson pointed out a 1871 law requiring candidates to live in their jurisdiction for the year before the election. Since Emanuel leased out his house in Chicago while he was working in DC, this may block him from running for Mayor.
Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

Are red light cameras racist? According to American Traffic Solutions, they are. ATS opposes a ballot initiative to add red light cameras in Baytown, Texas, saying it will encourage conservative voters to come out in larger numbers for the November election and weaken the power of minority voters. A hearing is currently scheduled on a motion to stop the election.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced he will not be seeking re-election in February 2011. February’s election will be the first time in 64 years that an incumbent is not running for mayor in Chicago. One of the rules set by the Chicago Board of Elections for Mayoral candidates is that they must have lived in the city of Chicago for at least the last calendar year. Does this rule out Rahm Emanuel as a candidate? Read more about the rules to run for mayor here.

This report was recently released and may be interesting to anyone who wants to look at the “threat posed by money and special interest pressure on fair and impartial courts” (quote by William & Mary Chancellor Sandra Day O’Connor). The report looks at the past decade of judicial campaign spending and analyzes some the challenges and threats to our judicial system because of this funding.

The Georgia Supreme Court is looking at the constitutionality of the new voter identification law the Department of Justice approved two weeks ago. Georgia, along with Arizona, checks the citizenship of people who register to vote against Social Security and DMV records. Proponents claim that it blocks illegal immigrants from voting, while critics argue that it could hinder minorities who are legal citizens from voting. The Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, September 7.

The Green Party in Arizona has filed suit against several state election officials, requesting that some of the nominees on their ballot be removed and to change an Arizona law that allows people to join a minor party’s ballot with only one write-in vote.  They allege that these nominees were recruited by Republicans to siphon votes away from the Democrat Party.  Steve May, on the Republican ballot, says that he recruited drifters and street performers in Tempe to run as Green Party candidates, but that they are part of a valid political movement.

Democrats in Vermont are facing a shortage of volunteers as they try to recount the results of the primary.  A number of the over 600 volunteers who originally signed up backed out when they found out they needed to commit to a full day of counting.

The better and more fully you can imagine a character the more they will live on the page so buy cheap essay within essayclick.net/ I set about imagining the personalities of the duke and duchess buttressed by all the documentary evidence I could muster

Weekly Wrap Up

Every week, State of Elections brings you the latest news in state election law.

A number of states are passing new legislation in an attempt to curb the influence of special interests on judicial elections.

Wisconsin state Representative Jeff Stone is pushing for voter ID legislation in that state.  The legislature had previously approved a bill that required photo ID at the polls, but the bill was vetoed by the Governor.

The Maryland legislature is currently debating a bill that would allow 16 year olds to register to vote.

In California, two candidates for state attorney general are preparing for a court battle over what titles they can attach to their names on the ballot.  Titles and nicknames seem to be a particularly contentious issue lately.  Check out this article from last week about Conrad “Colonel”  Reynolds and “Porky” Kimbrell, and their efforts to put their nicknames on the ballot.  Spoiler alert: Colonel = flagrant violation of election law, Porky = perfectly legal.

Here’s an interesting post about the 2010 census and redistricting from the Balkinization blog.

Redistricting and Judicial Elections in Pennsylvania

http://electls.blogs.wm.edu/files/2010/03/Judge_OrieMelvin.jpg
Justice Joan Orie Melvin of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

With the census in full swing, Pennsylvania again looks forward to the decennial redistricting process, the back room dealing and eventual round of lawsuits. Under Pennsylvania Constitution Article II § 17, Democrats and Republicans in the State legislature each select two members of the five member Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC) which will conduct the redistricting. A fifth member who serves as Chairman of the Commission is selected by majority vote of the Commission or, in case of tie, by vote of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania elects its Supreme Court and the issue of redistricting was a key party rallying point in elections last year. Justice Joan Orie Melvin prevailed in that election, giving Republicans a 4-3 majority on the Court. The race was the most expensive judicial election in the nation last year with over $5 million spent. The outcome will likely mean a second consecutive round of redistricting led by Republicans who controlled the 2000 process as well. Prior to the election Orie Melvin promised to put the good of the people first. “I am not a Republican judge; I am a judge of all the people. I have always followed the constitution – and will do so in redistricting.” Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

This weekly wrap up is a little late, since we posted a summary of our Symposium on Friday instead of our typical weekly wrap up.   To anyone who was waiting with bated breath for the latest news in state election law, I apologize.

Anyway, here’s a slightly belated summary of last week’s state election law news.

– According to a study by the Brennan Center, state judges are raising significantly more money for their campaigns than ever before.  In the last decade, candidates for state judgeships have raised more than 206 million dollars, which is more than double the 83 million raised by candidates in the 1990s.

– Lawmakers in Maryland and Washington D.C. are considering abandoning their traditional September primary dates, as the requirements of the newly passed “Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act” make it impossible to hold a primary so late in the year.

– There’s some controversy in New Mexico over whether Joe Campos, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, qualified to appear on the primary ballot.  Mr. Campos received 19.69% of delegate votes in that state’s pre-primary nominating convention.  Under New Mexico law, a candidate must receive 20% of the vote to appear on the ballot, and for the last week, the New Mexico Democratic Party has been debating whether to round up to 20% and allow Campos’s name on the primary ballot.  Luckily for Campos, the party eventually ruled that the law requires them to round up.  Interestingly, a Republican candidate who received 19.5% of delegate votes was kept off the primary ballot for failing to reach the 20% threshold.

-The Democratic Party is considering launching a 20 million dollar campaign to maintain  or take control of seventeen pivotal state legislatures, in anticipation of 2011 redistricting. The party that controls those state legislatures will have the power to redraw 198 congressional districts.

– The Election Assistance Commission now provides voter registration forms in five Asian languages,  Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

Chris Biggs has been appointed the new Kansas Secretary of State. The previous Secretary of State, Ron Thornburg, resigned his position on February 15th, forcing Governor Mark Parkinson to appoint a successor to serve the remainder of the term.  Kansas elects its Secretary of State and some fear that being appointed interim Secretary will give Biggs an unfair advantage in the upcoming Secretary of State campaign.  Essentially, Biggs gets all the advantages of incumbency, without having to win an election in the first place.

– Check out our Citizens United and the States page, which tracks the impact of the Citizens United decision on the states.  The page  has reached 72 links and more are being added everyday.

Newer posts

© 2017 State of Elections

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑