V. Legal Updates
SCOTUS: This week the Supreme Court of the United States refused to take up a case determining how states draw voting districts. According to USA Today, the "one person, one vote" case was among the most consequential of the high court's term, and it delivered a major victory for civil rights groups that opposed opening the door to drawing districts based on the number of voters, rather than total population. The unanimous ruling left intact Texas' method — followed by nearly all states — of counting residents when drawing state and local voting districts.
Arizona: The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation into what went wrong during the March 22 presidential preference primary in Maricopa County. According to the Arizona Star, Chris Herren, chief of the voting section of the Department of Justice, told Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell in a letter Friday that his agency is trying to determine if there were violations of the federal Voting Rights Act, which prohibits states from making changes in election procedures that discriminate against minorities.
Kansas: The League of Women Voters of Kansas has joined a federal class action lawsuit that seeks to overturn a state law requiring voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register.
North Dakota: U.S. District Judge Daniel Howland has refused to throw out a lawsuit that alleges that North Dakota’s voter ID law is unfair and unconstitutional. The complaint was filed in January by seven members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
Ohio: The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, on behalf of Ohio A. Phillip Randolph Institute and Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless has filed suit against Secretary of State Jon Husted over how the state removes inactive voters from the rolls. The suit argues that the state is wrong to assume voters are inactive because they have moved.
Washington: The Yakima City Council is expected to drop its appeal of the American Civil Liberties Union voting rights lawsuit that changed city elections last year. If that happens, Yakima will owe more than $1.8 million in legal fees and costs to the ACLU as ordered by a federal judge.