Covid-19

Across the country, state and local governments are moving quickly to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks through making emergency declarations. Washington state was the first to do so on February 29th.  Emergency declarations can allow officials to quickly secure and utilize targeted funding, in addition to potential allocations from the federal government.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the primary form of assistance to states, territories, tribes and localities may come in the form of federal...

In a 5-4 decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo, the Supreme Court has prevented New York’s governor from enforcing certain restrictions on attendance at religious services due to COVID-19. Until this decision, the Supreme Court had allowed all challenged stay-at-home orders which it reviewed on an emergency basis to remain in effect. The Chief Justice dissented as did Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.     

The...

In a 5-3 decision the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed a lower court decision to go into effect which would have allowed absentee ballots to be counted if they were received as late as November 9, as long as they were postmarked on or before election day. As a result, Wisconsin absentee ballots must be...

The Supreme Court has frozen a district court order that lifted Alabama’s ban on curbside voting. As a result, curbside voting must discontinue in Alabama.

Alabama law is silent on curbside voting. A number of Alabama counties were offering it due to COVID-19. Alabama’s Secretary of State, John Merrill, has taken the position that curbside voting violates state law and has banned it. A federal district court...

In a 4-4 decision the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that requires ballots received up to three days after the election to be counted to stand. Ballots clearly postmarked after 8 PM on election night will not be counted if they arrive after 5 PM on November 6.

Only if a ballot is clearly postmarked after 8 PM on election night will it not be counted if it arrives by 5 PM on November...

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