U.S. Supreme Court Takes Two Election Law Cases

by - October 02, 2014

On October 2, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Williams-Yulee v Florida Bar, 13-1499. The plaintiff was a candidate for state judge in a Florida election. She sent a mass e-mail to thousands of individuals on lists that she felt might be interested in her campaign, asking for small campaign contributions. She was disciplined because the Florida Bar does not permit candidate for judge to ask anyone for a campaign contribution. Instead, the candidate is supposed to have a campaign manager who makes the request. Also on October 2, the Court surprisingly agreed to hear Arizona State Legislature v Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, 13-1314. The Court warned that after the oral argument in this case, it is possible the conclusion will be that the Court should never have taken the case. Article One of the U.S. Constitution says “legislatures” are supposed to write election laws for Congressional elections (unless Congress decides to supercede that power). Arizona has an independent redistricting commission. The Arizona legislature wants the power to draw U.S. House district boundaries, so it sued, arguing that Article One means only legislatures can draw district boundaries. If the Court rules in favor of the Arizona legislature, that would mean that certain ballot access rules might also be invalid. For example, in Pennsylvania, the state Elections Department set the August 1 petition deadline. The legislature did not set that deadline.

Source: Ballot Access News - U.S. Supreme Court Takes Two Election Law Cases

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