First Amendment

In the Supreme Court’s first non-COVID-19 related emergency case regarding a state election requirement relevant to the 2020 presidential election, Justice Breyer refused to overturn a state court decision which allows Maine to use ranked-choice voting.

Maine statute describes ranked-choice voting as a “method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in...

In Andino v. Middleton the Supreme Court has continued its trend of striking down judge-made changes to state election laws in response to COVID-19. The Supreme Court froze in place a district court order which prohibited South Carolina from enforcing its ballot witness requirement. But the Court stated that any ballots received within...

For the last 50 years the Supreme Court has leaned right. But there has always been an unreliable conservative “swing” Justice at the center of the Court. First, Justice Powell, then Justice O’Connor, next Justice Kennedy, and most recently (and very briefly) Chief Justice Roberts.

If Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed the Court is likely to have five reliable conservative votes in the big, controversial cases (Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett). Chief Justice Roberts’ vote will no longer matter, and...

Unless something surprising happens, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is expected to take the bench before the Supreme Court hears the most recent challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on November 10. But before she is confirmed the Court will hear 10 cases in its October siting with only eight Justices on the bench.

At least four of those cases are of interest to states and local governments. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC)...

Since April 2020 the Supreme Court has handled numerous emergency requests related to COVID-19. Requests involving stay-at-home orders and judge-made changes to elections laws are of most interest to states and local governments. The trends in both categories of cases is clear but the reasons are murky. Oftentimes none of the Justices announce, much less explain, their vote.

In these emergency requests the challenger isn’t asking the Supreme Court to decide the case on the merits. Instead, it is either asking the Supreme...

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