How To Decide A Very Close Election For Presidential Electors: Part 1
Could a partial result from the very first contested presidential election provide us a path to handling a close election in 2020? Probably not—but the lessons from 1796 are revealing. This is Part 1 in a multi-part series that will help understand how close elections for presidential elector have been decided, good or bad, and how they should be decided this year.
Versus Trump: Versus The Post Office
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie are joined by Matthew Seligman of Public Citizen to discuss several lawsuits—including one in which he is counsel, NAACP v. USPS—where plaintiffs have challenged the cuts by the postal service that may slow down election mail. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Trump Versus Mail Voting
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss voting by mail in the pandemic. Have courts allowed the rules to be changed, either in responses to suits there should be more voting by mail—or less? Listen now!
Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ordered all 18 Republican-drawn districts to be redrawn, following a finding that they violate the Constitution. Potential citizenship questions on the 2020 Census could shift the balance of political power towards rural areas and give Republicans a new advantage in drawing electoral boundaries.
Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017
President Trump's voter fraud commission has not been in communication since September, and members are not sure why.
The Department of Homeland Security, the Election Assistance Commission and voting equipment industry and nonprofit groups met to launch an election security Sector Coordinating Council.
Update | The Week of November 27, 2017
Some Alabama voters have received erroneous messages saying that they are not registered to vote. The D.C. Circuit rejected a challenge to separate federal campaign contribution limits in primary and general elections.
Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017
A member of the President's election fraud commission announced that he is seeking an injunction requiring the commission to release working documents. DOJ officials indicated the commission will not meet again until next year.
Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017
The Congressional Accountability Office will investigate the President's voter fraud commission. Commentators and the Commission's Democratic members remain frustrated by its lack of transparency.
Freeing Purcell from the Shadows
The Supreme Court will soon hear a flood of election-related cases, yet one if its most important doctrines for deciding these cases remains remarkably opaque. So I will try to unpack and explain it.
Rucho and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act
The Court’s decision in Rucho will have profound and disastrous implications for the 2020 redistricting cycle and beyond. But it may also foreshadow the endgame for Section 2
Trump Jr. and Citizens United
In a perfect world, federal election law would distinguish between foreign governments involving themselves in U.S. elections and foreign nationals doing so. Unfortunately, we don't live in that perfect world because of the Supreme Court.
Versus Trump: State Immunity Under The VRA + Adios, Easha :(
On this week’s Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss a dissenting opinion by a Trump-appointed judge arguing that states cannot be sued for violating the Voting Rights Act. They then say goodbye to Easha with a tribute to her thinking about Versus Trump law and litigation. Listen now!
The Value of Gerrymandering
What is the value to democracy from political gerrymandering for partisan advantage? The intuitive answer is the right one: None.
Versus Trump: A Census Win...Or Is It?
This week on Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha discuss the temporary victory for the Plaintiffs in the census case and then speculate on what might come next. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Voting Wars and Justice Scalia, with Rick Hasen
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Jason talks to Rick Hasen, a leading election law scholar and purveyor of the Election Law Blog, about what's going on at the voting booth, possible campaign finance law violations by both Trump and Clinton in the 2016 cycle, and Justice Scalia, who is the subject of Rick's new book, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption. Listen now!
A Lone Star Bail-in?
Key takeaways from the briefs in the ongoing litigation to "bail-in" Texas under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act
Versus Trump: Ask Charlie About The Census
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason asks Charlie to take us through the mammothly long, massively important opinion from the Southern District of New York invalidating the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Listen now!
Versus Trump: 2017 Scorecard
On the first episode of Versus Trump of 2018, Jason and Charlie look back at Versus Trump cases in 2017 and score them as Administration wins, losses, or not-yet-decided. They also look ahead at big issues to come in 2018. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Can Trump Steal The Election?
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss whether Trump can really "steal" the election, as some have started to worry about. They discuss Jason's piece here on the topic. Plus, they say goodbye to Justice Ginsburg. Listen now!
Policing a Partisan Census
SCOTUS would do well to remember that elections — and the agencies that administer them — require special safeguards
Versus Trump: Versus Kobach
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss the litigation against the newly-created Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, that has Kansas Secretary of State—and repeat defendant in voting rights litigation—Kris Kobach as its now-infamous Vice Chair. Listen now!
Kris Kobach is a Menace to Democracy. Boycott his Vote-Rigging Commission.
By Jed Shugerman. Trump is using the Comey firestorm as a smoke screen for a potentially more dangerous move: appointing Kris Kobach vice chair of a new “election integrity” commission, with Mike Pence as chair. Kobach will make it a voter-suppression/vote rigging commission, fomenting anti-immigrant and racist fears.
Arresting the Deterioration of Democracy
Troubling signs abound for American constitutional democracy. It isn't (yet) too late to halt the decline. But that will require the creation and implementation of a robust democracy agenda.
Versus Trump: The Military in the U.S. and Proxy Voting in the House
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie take on two topics. First, what can the president legally do to use the military on American soil? Second, is it legal for the House of Representatives to vote by proxy, without being physically present in D.C., as alleged in a new lawsuit by House Republicans? Listen now!
What Happens If The Worst Happens?
What happens if a candidate dies before the electoral college votes? This came up at my oral argument in the Supreme Court case about electors, but there was no clear resolution.
All Your Voter Data Are Belong To Us
Kris Kobach just asked for help building a national voter file in two weeks. That’s massively irresponsible. And it might well be illegal.
Versus Trump: Wisconsin Republicans Versus Elections
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss last week's election in Wisconsin, include two rulings—one by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and one by the U.S. Supreme Court—that don't hold up very well in light of what occurred. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Where There's A Gil... (On Partisan Gerrymandering)
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss a lurking issue with opposing Trump in upcoming elections: partisan gerrymandering. Charlie and Easha take a close look at the case of Gil v. Whitford, a case the Supreme Court recently announced it will take up next fall. In Gil, the Supreme Court may boldly announce a new rule that might seriously curb partisan gerrymandering—or the Court may entirely stop courts from being able to hear these cases at all. Listen now!
Versus Trump: The Citizenship Question
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Easha discuss lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration's decision to ask a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. Listen now!
Versus Trump: The Past And Future Of Gerrymandering
This week on Versus Trump, Jason and Easha are joined by guest host Melissa Murray of NYU Law and the new Strict Scrutiny podcast. They discuss the recent Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering (Rucho v. Common Cause), what's next in the fight, and where you can find Melissa's wonderful new podcast. Listen now!
DOJ and the Voter Rolls
In voting rights, as elsewhere, there’s plenty of reason to stay woke. But if you’re looking for evidence of the crumbling of the Republic, the recent voter roll settlement in Kentucky isn’t the place to start.
A Department of Justice, But For Whom?
A letter about how to fix DOJ’s Civil Rights Division simultaneously maintains that we live in a “post-racial world” and urges the Division to take measures that will disenfranchise people of color.
Information Wars Part I: The Challenge To The Census
The Trump administration has enacted several policies to conceal, subvert, or manipulate information. It has retracted a proposal to add LGBTQ identification to the U.S. census and eliminated LGBTQ identification from HHS surveys. These policies and others attempt to deny the existence of a problem by disappearing the (inconvenient) facts.
Treason and Cyberwarfare
By Carlton Larson: There are two forms of treason recognized under the United States Constitution: (1) levying war against the United States; and (2) adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Each raises slightly different issues with respect to cyberwarfare.
Versus Trump: The Collusion Lawsuit
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Easha discuss a newly-filed lawsuit brought by private plaintiffs who allege that Trump's campaign and Trump advisor Roger Stone conspired with Russians to disclose private information about the plaintiffs. Listen now!
Resisting Calls for Illegal Hiring Practices at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division
Even in these strange and trying times, we would like to think that our Attorney General will follow the law while staffing the division of DOJ charged with realizing the Constitution’s promise of a democracy that’s worth a damn—one open to all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin.
Four Priorities for H.R. 1
By Campaign Legal Center: Here are the highest priorities for legislative reform on campaign finance, voting rights, redistricting, and ethics
Versus Trump: N.Y. Versus Wilbur Ross
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie talk about the fight over Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's potential testimony in an important lawsuit over the census. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Who Are Presidential Electors?
On this week’s Versus Trump, Charlie and Easha take a deep dive into two recently granted Supreme Court cases that go to the heart of the systems that we use to elect the President. The discussion takes us deep into questions of political accountability, free choice, and constitutional history. A classic Versus Trump cat's-away-mice-will-play episode chock full of fun analysis of, among other things, Jason's work. Listen now! (I mean right now.)
Versus Trump: So, Can California Really Do That?
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss a recently-passed bill awaiting the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown that, if signed into law, would require presidential candidates to disclose five years of federal of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in California. Jason and Charlie ask each other whether California has the constitutional power to do that, and, if so, whether it's a good idea. Listen now!
Requiem for a Lone Star Bail-in
The three-judge district court overseeing the Texas redistricting litigation has held that Texas should not be 'bailed-in' under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act. That's a very worrisome development. Here's why.
Partisan Gerrymandering Returns to the Supreme Court
Partisan gerrymandering at its core is viewpoint discrimination pure and simple, and it cannot be squared with our Constitution’s promise that voters choose their representatives, not the other way around.
Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017
This week, a federal judge found a discriminatory purpose behind Texas's Voter ID law. On Take Care, Joshua Matz and Leah Litman argue that the Trump Administration's plans for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division raise grave concerns. Joshua Matz also notes the concern expressed by advocacy groups over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' lack of commitment to protecting voting rights.
Updates | The Week of October 30, 2017
Reports indicate that the Crosscheck system promoted by Kris Kobach, vice chair of President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, as a tool to purge voter rolls, has a 99% false positive rate.
Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017
President Trump's voter fraud commission continued to draw significant opposition and criticism, including some resistance from Republican state officials.
Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017
A study suggests that confusion over Wisconsin voter ID laws kept thousands of voters from the polls last November. California moved its presidential primary to Super Tuesday.
Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017
An advocacy group filed a lawsuit to make the records of President Trump's Election Integrity Commission public, while commentators continued to criticize the commission.
Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017
This week, Daniel Tokaji argued for an active "democracy agenda" on Take Care while a movement for voter ID laws grows in the states, despite no evidence of a large voter conspiracy.
Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017
A close special election in Georgia may portend electoral problems for the Republicans. During the 2016 election, the Russian government sought to peddle the myth of voter fraud when it appeared President Trump may lose.
Updates | The Week of October 2, 2017
The Supreme Court held oral argument in Gill v. Whitford, a major partisan gerrymandering case. Concerns persisted over the impartiality of the Pence-Kobach Voter Commission.
Updates | The Week of October 16
Former Attorney General Eric Holder argues the fight for voting rights is the struggle of our generation. Democratic senators requested the Government Accountability Organization investigate President Trump's voting fraud commission.
Updates | The Week of July 3, 2017
More than 40 states have fully or partially refused to comply with the Pence-Kobach Commission’s request for state voter data.
Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017
Questions about illegal voting and discussions of how to improve election integrity continue to plague the Trump administration. Professor Larry Lessig has a new proposal for election reform.
The Story Thus Far: Voting Rights
Since taking office, President Trump has cast doubt on the American electoral process--even as DOJ has stepped away from challenges to restrictive voter identification laws. Here are some useful analyses of the story thus far.
Updates | The Week of August 14, 2017
Despite studies showing that voter fraud is practically nonexistent, aides connected to the Trump Administration have created an organization to increase voter turnout in areas where the President has high support and discourage “fraudulent” democratic voting.
Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017
Commentators argued that President Trump’s sham Commission on Election Integrity is a threat to democracy, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case that could have wide-ranging impact on voting rights, and a new Democratic super PAC is fighting back on partisan gerrymandering.
Updates | The Week of April 24, 2017
Leah Litman analyzes a conservative activists' letter to Attorney General Sessions in light of the illegal Texas redistricting plan.
Updates | The Week of May 8, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order creating a presidential commission on “election integrity” based on his false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2016 election.
Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017
States continue to resist the voter fraud commission's attempts to collect voting records. Commission vice-chair Kris Kobach is fighting the ACLU's document requests.
Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017
Calls for a "special election" pose major constitutional, political, and policy questions, as Ian Samuel explains for Take Care. Instead, the best way to avoid foreign interference may be to update voting technology.
Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017
Efforts to expand automatic voter registration are picking up steam nationally, and the Supreme Court will hear a significant Ohio voting rights case.
Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017
The President's embattled Commission on Election Integrity, which has been sued by numerous voting rights groups, held its first public meeting this week. DOJ has changed tactics in its Texas voter ID case.
Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017
The President's voter fraud commission risks voter purges and may become a target for hackers. The Department of Justice reversed its historical position on the Ohio voter roll purge statute.