Monday, October 05, 2015


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

MCBA Members and Friends,

Please be advised that former Rep. Bill Crawford will lie in state in the Indiana Statehouse Rotunda this Thursday, October 1 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, with a wreath laying ceremony at 12:00 Noon.

The funeral will take place on Friday, October 2 at Eastern Star Baptist Church (5750 E. 30th Street). Calling will be from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, with services immediately following.

There is also a great article entitled "Remembering Bill Crawford" posted on the Election Law Blog. If you are interested, you may read the article at http://electionlawblog.org/?p=76253.

Another shoe drops: 10 years after Indiana introduced Voter ID, Fort Wayne Indiana will now be using computers to decide who gets to vote. The ID's will be read by a magnetic scanner, which will decide if the ID is "valid." What could possibly go wrong?


Monday, September 28, 2015


good column on voter ID. wrong, but good.

Hi Troy. Well written column on voter ID. I linked to it from my blog, http://ballots.blogspot.com, which almost no one reads.

A few quibbles:

I'm confused by the Democrats' strategy, since the Supreme Court has already ruled that requiring an ID to vote is constitutional. North Carolina Democrats are fighting voter ID fiercely, in spite of its constitutionality already decided in other states. I think making sure everyone who wants to vote has an ID would be the better approach. But what do I know

The Supreme Court has not ruled that voter ID is constitutional. There were 3 votes for that, and 3 against, but the deciding 3 votes ruled that plaintiffs had filed the wrong kind of lawsuit for what they were trying to do.

As far as other states, some states, like missouri, found that voter ID violates the state constitution. Other states, like Texas, ruled voter ID violates the voting right act, so I'm not sure they ruled on the constitutional issues. 

I'm a Republican, and I won't show a voter ID because it violates the 24th and 4th Amendment - if they want to got through my pockets they can get a warrant.

I paid $20 for that ID, so they can't use it for voting purposes, because to do so would be a tax.

Cordially, Robbin Stewart.

Troy Williams

6:36 PM (2 hours ago)
to me
We agree to disagree, however, thanks for the feedback...

Sunday, September 27, 2015



Stanford law professor Jeffrey Fisher has an op-ed today in the NY Times that asks for some transparency on how the various judges vote in deciding whether to take a case.

Should Justice Scalia disclose his votes on whether to grant cert?

Scalia, in Doe v Reed, mocked those who prefer to participate in politics anonymously, such as anonymous petitions, pamphlets, or the secret ballot.

He could set an example by disclosing his own votes. I think Scalia is dead wrong about all this, but he could at least be consistent. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015


That's the Crawford v Marion County Election Board Bill Crawford.

He also was remembered Friday as an advocate for equality and as a lawmaker who fought for affordable housing and social justice.

Friday, September 25, 2015

But when party leaders lack the power to bring their recalcitrant members along, those forces of centrism inevitably diminish. - Pildes.

I couldn't possibly comment - Francis Urquhart.

speaker of the house to resign.
when i was a kid in high school i was the speaker of the house in a ymca-sponsored mock legislature in delaware, and it strongly influenced my interest in politics and elections.

Thursday, September 24, 2015



dunno if this is legal in florida

two birds with one stone: taxpayers will fund a ritual animal sacrifice for those registering to vote, or updating their registration, on national voter registration day.
in some states, it's illegal to pay someone to vote or register, but i genuinely am not sure about florida.

A Wake County judge has refused a request from state lawmakers to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Voter ID requirement.
Judge Mike Morgan issued his ruling on Wednesday, almost four weeks after a hearing on the matter.
Lawmakers amended the state's Voter ID requirement this legislative session on the eve of a trial in federal court.


“No doubt the state was going to get spanked in state court after the plaintiffs discovered that DMV employees were regularly breaking the law by not issuing the free voter ID cards,” he said, “but my sources tell me that Sen Rucho came unhinged after his own mother was turned away by the nice people at DMV.”

found the order

The suit is on hold for the primary, that is, photo ID will be required for the primary. So that's an opportune time for Reverend Barber to get hundreds of people to get the  right to vote denied and sue.


this post referenced at

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article36281472.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015


Or perhaps it’s because Johnson’s principal biographer, Robert Caro, hasn’t yet reached that part of the story....

 Because there had been no Supreme Court vacancies handy, Johnson, the consummate wheeler-­dealer, fashioned one, naming Ramsey Clark attorney general in order to induce his father, Justice Tom C. Clark, to quit. Johnson could then slide Marshall, solicitor general at the time, into Clark’s slot.... But for the real inside story of how all this happened, we’ll just have to wait — for Robert Caro.

Court suspends Pennsylvania attorney general's law license

Constitutional crisis in PA raises election law issues.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's highest court on Monday ordered the temporary suspension of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's law license, a step that could trigger efforts to remove her from office as she fights perjury, obstruction and other charges.

This is what happens when I don't keep up with How Appealing, a story like this sneaks up on me.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Indiana candidate John Gregg has some ideas.


"While 52 percent of those earning more than $150,000 voted, only 24 percent of those earning less than $10,000 went to the polls."

That's interesting. Is it because the poor are too busy with survival, and the rich have more leisure time for items further down Maslow's hierarchy?

Because, in dollar terms, it is cheaper for the poor to vote; their opportunity costs are lower. I'm not going to take this to the Scalia/Posner extreme and suggest we do away with the secret ballot so that busy executives can just hire a poor person to go vote for them, the way lawyers hire homeless people to stand in line for them to reserve seats at the supreme court's bar section. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Date Filed#Docket Text
09/11/201512 ANSWER to 1 Complaint, by Phil Bryant, James Hood, Delbert Hosemann.(Pizzetta, Harold) (Entered: 09/11/2015)
08/27/2015Minute Entry for proceedings held before District Judge Carlton W. Reeves: Telephone Status Conference held on 8/27/2015. Participants: Graham P. Carner, Jonathan M. Eichelberger and Harold Pizzetta. State of Mississippi shall file Supplemental Memorandum by 9/16/2015; Plaintiffs should file Response by 9/30/2015; and any Rebuttal is due by 10/7/2015. Motion Hearing set as to 2MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and MOTION for Preliminary Injunction for 10/9/2015 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 5B (Jackson) before District Judge Carlton W. Reeves. (JS) (Entered: 08/27/2015)
08/24/201511 NOTICE of Appearance by Jonathan Matthew Eichelberger on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Eichelberger, Jonathan) (Entered: 08/24/2015)
08/21/201510 Defendant(s) Exhibit List to 8/21/2015 hearing. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit D-1 Mailed Flyer)(JS) (Entered: 08/21/2015)
08/21/2015Minute Entry for proceedings held before District Judge Carlton W. Reeves: Motion Hearing held on 8/21/2015 re 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Anonymous Company, Anonymous Roe and Anonymous Doe. Appearances: Graham P. Carner and Harold Pizzetta. Court heard arguments on the issues and reserved to rule after additional briefing. Telephone Status Conference set for 8/27/2015 at 2:00 PM before District Judge Carlton W. Reeves. Court Reporter/Transcriber Cherie Bond, Telephone Number : 601-608-4186. (JS) Modified on 8/27/2015 (JS). (Entered: 08/21/2015)
08/21/20159 MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION re 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by James Hood (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Mailer, # 2 Exhibit B - FEC Manual)(Pizzetta, Harold) (Entered: 08/21/2015)
08/21/2015DOCKET ANNOTATION as to #5: Disregard docket entry #5; this document has been re-filed as docket entry #8. (RRL) (Entered: 08/21/2015)
08/20/20158 SUMMONS Returned Executed by Anonymous Doe, Anonymous Roe, Anonymous Company (Carner, Graham) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/20157 SUMMONS Returned Executed by Anonymous Doe, Anonymous Roe, Anonymous Company Delbert Hosemann served on 8/20/2015, answer due 9/10/2015. (Carner, Graham) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/20156 SUMMONS Returned Executed by Anonymous Doe, Anonymous Roe, Anonymous Company James Hood served on 8/20/2015, answer due 9/10/2015. (Carner, Graham) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/20155 **ERROR**DISREGARD THIS ENTRY** SUMMONS Returned Executed by Anonymous Doe, Anonymous Roe, Anonymous Company Phil Bryant served on 8/20/2015, answer due 9/10/2015. (Carner, Graham) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/2015Set Hearing as to 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order - MOTION for Preliminary Injunction. Motion Hearing set for 8/21/2015 at 1:30 PM in Courtroom 5B (Jackson) before District Judge Carlton W. Reeves. (JS) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/20154 Summons Issued as to Phil Bryant, James Hood, Delbert Hosemann. (RRL) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/20153 MEMORANDUM in Support re 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order, MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Anonymous Company, Anonymous Doe, Anonymous Roe. (RRL) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/20152 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order or, in the alternative, MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Anonymous Company, Anonymous Doe, Anonymous Roe. (RRL) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
08/20/20151 COMPLAINT against Phil Bryant, James Hood, Delbert Hosemann ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 34643034914), filed by Anonymous Doe, Anonymous Roe, Anonymous Company. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A-Mailer, # 2 Exhibit B-Press Release, # 3 Civil Cover Sheet)(RRL) (Entered: 08/20/2015)

Anonymous Doerepresented byGraham P. Carner 
771 North Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39202
Fax: 601/354-7854
Email: graham.carner at gmail.com

Jonathan Matthew Eichelberger 
775 North Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39202
Fax: 601/510-9103
Email: matt at ike-law.com

Harold Edward Pizzetta , III 
P.O. Box 220 
550 High Street (39201) 
Jackson, MS 39205-0220 
Email: hpizz@ago.state.ms.us 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

student gets detention for campaign flyer. is that actionable?

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


elizabeth II as of today is canada's longest reigning queen.

Sunday, September 06, 2015


Reddit post covering marijuana referenda next year.

Saturday, September 05, 2015


a simple solution to voter ID, and something about frisbee.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


Wednesday, September 02, 2015


when one vote matters.

i used to live near there and worked at a couple of the affected businesses.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Saturday, August 29, 2015


Alabama Risks Making It Much Harder To Get Required Voter ID

Proposed budget cuts could force 45 of 49 driver's license offices to close.

update this post picked up by hasen http://electionlawblog.org/?p=75698

Docket page for Anonymous Doe v Bryant, plus whatever else I turn up about this case.



A federal judge in Jackson did not rule Friday on a request to keep hidden the origin of a political mailer that depicted the Madison mayor manipulating Madison County supervisor candidates with puppet strings.
Judge Carlton Reeves took the matter under advisement after a 90-minute hearing. He indicated it could be a couple weeks before he rules after attorneys further brief the matter.




Attorney General Jim Hood's office says it will investigate. Hosemann says violations are misdemeanors, punishable by fines of up to $3,000 and up to 6 months in jail.
Most literature presented by Hosemann criticizes incumbent Republican lawmakers, claiming they oppose gun rights and the current state flag, while supporting Common Core education standards and federal health care reform.
So there are some clues here about who the Does might be.


http://yallpolitics.com/index.php/yp/post/41735/ Speculation about who might be behind those confederate flag postcards.

Publius and the Petition: Doe v. Reed and the History of Anonymous Speech

Meredith Hattendorf, Comment, Theoretical Splits and Consistent Results on Anonymous Political Speech: Majors v. Abell and ACLU of Nevada v. Heller, 50 ST. LOUIS U. L.J. 925, 930 (2006)

I'm going to have to find this!

https://casetext.com/case/doe-v-curtis-no-cv09-5028697-feb ruling on a fictitious name petition.


“Since President Obama took office, 85 of 98 state legislative bodies got more Republican”

Thanks, Obama.


I had missed this earlier article by Thusbloggedanderson, who is both a southern lawyer and  neithe scholar. He is really on top of the case with a good understanding of both Talley (which the plaintiff seem to have missed) and McIntyre.
He (she?) brings to my attention Justice for All v Faulkner. Must figure out a way to get an As I Lay Dying reference into a brief.

Reading this now, will update. I am behind on my updates to the Missisippi case. I've been in PA WV OH IN IL MO IA NB and KS this week, earning a living, since blogging doesn't pay the rent.
I'd been hoping to stop into the law libraries at UMKC and or Mizzou, my alma maters, but events did not permit. The WVa law library didn't have an annotated Missouri Statutes; like a lot of libraries they are going paperless. So I will plan to get to the Indiana Supreme Court library this week. The Missouri case, Doe v Weedman, is dismissed without explanation by the parties, but I remain interested in the legal issues it presented but did not resolve.

The Faulkner case, from 2005 and the 5th Circuit, is fun, gives a win to the plaintiffs, and contains great quotes. It strongly supports the Mississippi plaintiffs position. I should doublecheck that Mississippi is in the 5th circuit. Yes. So the 11th circuit Worely case has no bearing on the MS case.
But what of KVUE v Moore? I think that was pre-McIntyre, and certainly was pre ACLF. But I should brush up on it. Right, it' 5th circuit 1983, so I'm going to say it's overruled by McIntyre.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I have a potential tentative client to intervene in the Misissippi disclaimer case, but I think I would need Mississippi local counsel. (I should check the rules of that court.) That was one obstacle that kept my client from being able to intervene in the Missouri John Doe v Weedman case, which has now been dismissed without explanation.
Does anybody know anybody in MS? More generally, is there a general solution to the problem of needing local counsel? How do you find local counsel when you need one, in a pro bono case funded solely by the hope for legal fees down the road?

Requirement of Local Counsel. When a party appears by attorney, every complaint, answer, motion, application, notice of deposition, or other paper on behalf of the represented party must be signed, and every deposition, mediation, conference or hearing must be attended by at least one attorney of record admitted to the general practice of law in the district court in which the action is pending. 

Here is a very rough first draft of a lie list for the state's response to a motion for TRO in the Mississippi disclaimer case discussed here yesterday.

Yesterday I was at the law library at West Virginia University. I didn't run into Brad Smith there. They didn't have the books I was looking for. The zenclay coffee shop I like to go to now closes at 2 pm so I missed it. But it was a good day overall.

[a "lie list" is just shop talk for a list of legal or factual errors in a document; not all such errors are intentional. some people call this process 'fisking' or maybe it's Fisking.] this part is just the list; explaining why each point is wrong is a longer part II to follow. update: I wrote part II, but i didnt save it to the cloud, and i stepped on my laptop, breaking the screen, so i'll have to re-write it, and so far (9/14) I haven't.

first draft. Needs to be more consistent how it lists the lies.

first,the AG is to be commended for putting together the 20 page memorandum in one day.
It is understandable under the circumstances that there are errors of fact and law.

There are at least 19 false statements of law or fact in this filing. Part I lists them. Part II explains each.
Part 3 lists true statements of law or fact that are then used to try to mislead the court into error.
Part 4 explains each.
Part 5 presents and overview of the case, in order to attempt to correct the misleading picture painted by the state.

1 Lie # 1, p.1. : Plaintiffs claims lack a likelihood of success on the merits
2 Referring to the statute as a “law”. p.1. The fundamental principle of american law, from Marbury v Madison, is that an unconstitutional statute is not law, but is void ab initio. “There is no public interest in the enforcement of an unconstitutional statute.” ( for now, just list, explain later.)
3 “The 1st A protects a voter's right to know” p.2
4 Bait and switch of mixing up disclosure and disclaimer. p.3.
5 “In fact, Madison County voters have a well-established right to know that information.” p.3.
6 Disclaimer rules are an integral part of disclosure regimes. pp. 3, 6.
7 The constitutionality of disclaimer rules is well established. p.4.
8 Citizens United has not “officially reaffirmed the constitutionality of the” federal disclaimer rule. Pp 4-5. @ Like a previous challenge in McConnell v FEC, plaintiffs lost on their particular theory, an express advocacy argument, but this does not mean other different challenges will not prevail. The instant case is not premised on any express advocacy argument, although the statute would be vulnerable to one since it is vague and overbroad in the way addresesd in Buckley v Valeo, a case defendants rely on heavily. Further, CU only discussed corporate speech previously banned under Austin, not, as here, nearly all election speech.
9. Plaintiff's reliance on McIntyre is not misplaced. pp.5,13.
10. McIntyre's target audience was not just the members of the school board, but the voters who defeated the bond levy twice before it passed on a third try. p.5.
11. CU removed any doubt about the constitutionality of disclaimer rules. p.9.
12 Buckley v Valeo did not address disclaimers in the cited passages.
13 Similarly, Buckley v ACLF reached opposite conlusions about the onstitututionality of disclaimers and disclosure, so the cited section is out of context and misrepresents the holding of the case. p.12.
14 “such disclaimers do not limit speech.” p.13.
15 “ their constitutionality is not in doubt” p.13.
16 McIntyre is simply inapplicable to requiring disclaimers on traditional election advertisements about candidates. Pp13-14.
17 “state law” p. 14.
18 unquestionably constitutional. p.16.
19 conflict with CU p. 16
20 oh wow, only 19 lies, unless I missed one.

need a section on fats and law that is true, but used to try to mislead the court.first draft. Needs to be more consistent how it lists the lies.

I found something last night while doing some recycling and at first I didn't know what it was, but then I figured out that it was a selfie stick.
The Indiana Law Blog, which is threatening to shut down for lack of funding, has an article
on Indiana's statute banning photos of one's ballot. I dont see this as an open and shut case, it could go either way and I don't have strong feeling about it. The statute would need to survive strict scrutiny under both the First Amendment and Article I section 9.

update: The ILB article gets a mention 8/27 at Hasen.


Political Flyer Circulated In Detroit Suburb: 'Let's Get The Blacks Out'

Here's an example of how anonymous speech enables debate. It's unlikely anyone would circulate this hateful flier if they had to put their name on it. While I don't agree with the opinion on the flier, I celebrate that we live in a county where that person has the right to distribute such a flier.

That right was hard-won by Manuel Talley and others in civil rights struggle. I have a few pictures of Talley.  Talley v California was the landmark case that establishes the right to anonymous political fliers. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/362/60/case.html. Unfortunately, there are many today who continue to resist civil rights, such as in Mississippi, where the Secretary of State is trying to enforce an unconstitutional statute that makes it a crime to pass out fliers.  see here:

A new disclaimer case, this one from Mississippi.
I read the complaint with interest. I'm not sure how to link more directly to the complaint, but you can download it from the link above.

One of the nice ironies of this page is the many ads without disclaimers, including one for the defendant secretary of state. As a lawyer, the secretary of state's conduct in this matter is unethical and should be reported to the MS attorney disciplinary commission.


https://thusbloggedanderson.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/10514542601.pdf < the state's response, reading this now.

I included the LBJ ad, which is not from the linked page, as an example of a disclaimer and union bug.
My beef with the complaint is that it doesn't ask for damages and doesn't mention the state constitution. But is it overall well-drafted. Counsel is Graham Carner, someone I don't know.
Seems like a young crusading liberal type, and I mean that as a compliment.

Saturday, August 22, 2015



Friday, August 21, 2015

It turns out Deez Nuts is a more serious candidate than I had realized.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I was re-reading Citizens United yesterday, because someone was wrong on the internet.*
I noticed an interesting discussion of as applied versus facial challenges,and it occurred to me that that discussion is relevant to voter ID. So this is a placeholder for a later post to flesh out that idea a little.

The general idea is that the court has the power, when it wants to, of framing relief very broadly when it grants an as-applied challenge. McIntyre is an example. The court didnt just void Mrs. McIntyre's $100 fine, it voided the statute, although technically hers was an as-applied challenge.

There has been discussion about how as-applied challenges (see Stewart v Marion County, Palmer v Marion County, etc.) are futile because at best they fix one vote. This is mistaken. If a would-be voter finds 5 members of the court who agree that they have been required to pay a poll tax or not vote, the court can grant relief by striking the statute down entirely. It doesn't do so lightly, see Ayote, but it can, In Citizens United it didn't strike down McCain-Feingold, but it did something better, it struck down Austin.

Pildes on Dione on poll taxes:
Dionne's article is here
Pildes' point is Dionne said the appeals court upheld the poll tax argument when in fact it overturned it, and only upheld the court below on a different ground.

The district court in the Texas voter ID case had found the statute was a poll tax.
The circuit court reversed on this point.
However, that was because in the meantime the legislature had gone back and removed fees
so the facts had changed. The circuit court did not say the district court had been wrong as a matter of law. At least that's my impression of what happened.
Nope, I was wrong here. See below.
I among those who continues to think that the poll tax argument (or more accurately the 24th Amendment argument; the Amendment is not limited to poll taxes) is a strong one in voter ID cases.

None of the cases that hold that voter ID is not a poll tax are well argued, and three lower courts (in GA, WI, TX) have found voter ID to be a poll tax, leading to changes.

The 5th circuit opinion is here:

The poll tax discussion begins on p. 40 and ends on p. 46.

The Brennan Center's page collecting case documents is here:

AP: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20150805-texas-voter-id-law-discriminates-against-minorities-5th-circuit-panel-rules.ece

OK, I was mistaken. SB 983 removed birth certificate fees, but voters born out of state still incur fees, so the court addressed the arguments.
 The court interpreted Harmon v Forssenius, the Supreme Court's only 24th A case, extremely narrowly, pretty much holding Texas would have to exactly mirror the Harman fact pattern for it to apply. I think this is wrong. But I'm just some blogger, while the 5th circuit is a substantial authority.
I hope the plaintiffs will preserve their appeal on this point. I am not hopeful that they will.

There is not quite a split on this point of the sort that leads to Supreme Court review The Wisconsin Supreme Court found a poll tax, but resolved the issue by construing the statute, as is their prerogative. So that's different than, for example, if the 7th circuit had ruled Wisconsin's statute was a poll tax.  (After the Wisconsin court narrowed the statute, the 7th circuit upheld it, in a 5-5 split, and the US Supreme Court denied further review.)

The Texas case could still head to the Supreme Court, but the poll tax issue could easily get lost in the shuffle. I do not find the 5th circuit's logic on this point persuasive or compelling, but they at least took it seriously and addressed the issues. It is ripe for cert. This case is already on the court's radar, so it is a likely candidate for cert, and would make a good bookend to Crawford v Marion County. But I am not confident plaintiffs will preserve the 24th Amendment claim, or that the court will choose to address it. If the court does take up the issue, I cannot predict how it will turn out. Roberts and Kennedy are the swing votes. But it is an independent claim from the voting rights act claim and the 14th A. claim, and offers a third bite at the apple, and plaintiffs would be foolish to waive the issue, if it offers a way to pick up a 5th vote.

Justice Thomas was highly critical of the Crawford plaintiffs, but it would be interesting to offer him a chance to write the second opinion on the 24th Amendment. What was the original intent of the founders in 1965 when they passed the 24th A? It was probably to keep places like Texas from creating partisan barriers to voting by the masses, as they have done here.

Anyway Pildes is right and Dionne and the Washington Post are wrong. Let's see if a correction follows.

This would be a good place to wind up this blog entry, but one more point. It's interesting how the court finds that voter ID is allowable as a voter qualification as a matter of federal law, but the ame voter ID is not a qualification under state law in LWV v Rokita, because if it were a qualification under state law it would violate the state constitution. Nice paradox. It reminds me of how you need an ID to get a birth certificate, but you need a birth certificate to get an ID.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


(this post was picked up by the electionlawblog.org, http://electionlawblog.org/?p=75434)

pro-voting psa from india

To comment on the proposed “primary purpose” rule, write the commissioner of political practices at cpprules@mt.gov or P.O. Box 202401, Helena, 59620.


The rules, written by Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl and currently open for public comment, are meant to strengthen campaign disclosure requirements after the high court threw out Montana’s Corrupt Practices Act,
Montanans for Community Development, a Helena corporation that spends money on elections, has filed a federal lawsuit. Its attorney, James Bopp ....

James Bopp, the Indiana attorney who won the landmark Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission case, interrogated Montana's top political cop for nearly seven hours last week, comparing Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl to a racist Southern sheriff and rebuking his crackdown on conservative groups that have been accused of sabotaging elections with mounds of secret cash.
"It used to be that sheriffs would beat up black people ... just because they arrested them, and then they would say, 'We, of course, follow the law,'" Bopp said at one point, unsatisfied with one of Motl's answers. "So, we're trying to find out the tests you apply."
developing; i expect to add more to this entry.

Friday, August 14, 2015

off topic department

Thursday, August 13, 2015


President has love child, DNA proves. New York Times uncovers the coverup.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


“Federal judge in New Hampshire: Ballot ‘selfies’ are free speech, don’t encourage voter fraud”

Hasen is wrong in his analysis of this case. Strict scrutiny is the standard, not the lax scrutiny of Burdick v Takashi, because selfies are speech, so the court got it right. See Mcintyre v Ohio. The statute goes beyond the mechanism to elections to censoring speech in blogs and online media. The relevant case is Burson v Freeman, which upheld a 100 foot no speech zone around a voting booth as satisfying strict scrutiny.  


I read the case yesterday and was pleased by its reasoning. It relied, among others, on McIntyre, State v Dennis, and People v White, cases that upheld the right to anonymous speech.
Volokh and I have a long running dispute about whether lies are protected by the First Amendment.
I think they are, he disagrees and argues more persuasively than I do. Alvarez split the baby, holding that lies get intermediate scrutiny. Driehaus remanded back to a lower court or further findings.
This Mass. case uses strict scrutiny.

The statute was poorly written, and maybe a more narrowly tailored statute could have been upheld.
But I think the tide has turned and case that try to outlaw lies in politics are going to be struck down more often than they are upheld.

The case was based on a state constitutional text that says the right of free speech shall not be infringed. I wonder if the cases under this text shed any light on "infringed" as used in the second amendment.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

state constitutional free speech decision i should read sometime, about false statements in campaign speech.


about time someone said this.


Thursday, August 06, 2015


“State Constitutions: The Next Frontier in Voting Rights Protection”

Professor Josh Douglass has been emerging as the strongest advocate for state constitutions as a source of voting rights. He's right, and if more people paid attention it could change the election law industry. Recently in John Doe v Weedman, a Missouri case about disclaimers, The plaintiff attempted to file an amended complaint to add a state constitutional claim, after I pointed out controlling state authority from 1908. Then they dismissed the case. I don't know if they plan to refile it or what exactly; none of the lawyers have returned my emails. 


Wednesday, August 05, 2015



former president bush picked for jury duty.

Texas voter ID still unconstitutional, rules court of appeals.

The court ruled on VRA section 2 grounds and avoided some of the constitutional issues.

The court reversed the lower court's poll tax ruling because in the meantime the teas legislature had repealed many of the fees it had been charging to get ID. Indiana continues to charge such fees.  

John Doe v Weedman, a case about disclaimers in Ferguson Missouri, has been dismissed by consent of the parties. I don't now the backstory on what's going on. I have a few emails out to counsel trying to find out more.

I may get around to posting a "lie list" for the county attorney's recent filing which I just read today.


This editorial in my local McPaper is a year old but I just found it while looking to see if they have any coverage of the Texas Voter ID decision. - They don't.

It talks about Fannie Lou Hamer's struggle to register and vote, her speech at the 1964 Democratic convention, and how voter ID is still used to keep people like Hamer, and myself, from voting.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A call for papers

The Syracuse Law and Civic Engagement forum ("SLACE") is looking for authors for its 2015-2016 journal edition, focusing on election law, campaign finance reform, voting rights, and political law.

SLACE is an interdisciplinary journal and blog operated between the Syracuse University College of Law, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  SLACE focuses on the intersection between law, policy and media. SLACE advances the civic dialogue and recognizes that the law is a truly interdisciplinary institution. Our 2015-2016 edition is broadly focused on political law, campaign finance, voting rights, and election law. SLACE is not a conventional law journal and is focused on pushing the conversation beyond the bounds of the law-centric model. This allows our authors great flexibility and creativity in their writing. 

SLACE is seeking authors for its upcoming edition to be submitted for publication by December 2015-January 2016. We are asking that authors submit articles in the range of 20-35 pages. The topics are purposely broad and allow authors to address issues they find relevant within the realm of political law,  campaign finance law, voting rights, and election reform. Due to the upcoming election and sharp criticisms of the campaign finance system by many, including notable presidential candidates, we find these topics have garnered considerable attention.  

If anyone would be interested in writing for us, please let us know at your earliest convenience. Alternatively, if you have suggestions for other authors, please feel free to forward them this email or provide their contact information via the email address listed below. If any potential author would like to learn more about SLACE or its upcoming edition, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your time!

Edwin Maldonado
Lead Articles Editor, SLACE
J.D. Candidate, Class of 2016
Syracuse University College of Law

i should, but probably wont, write something.


Republicans File Major New Challenge to McCain-Feingold Soft Money Rules

note to self send this to the LP, they might want to participate in some fashion.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


In North Carolina this columnist's son turns 18 less than 30 days before the election. but he can't pre-register, and he has to be registered 30 days to vote. Is this a 26th Amendment violation?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

to do list

task list for wednesday

thursday edit - [stuff deleted] whoops, that post went to the wrong blog entirely. good thing no one really reads this one.


new york times discusses mistakes in its reporting of clinton email story.

Monday, July 27, 2015

“The television election: Despite all the hype about tools like Snapchat and Meerkat, the 2016 campaign will be dominated by a technology that’s been around for decades: TV. “

I have no idea what meercat is.

Friday, July 24, 2015

PA third party signature checking system found unconstitutional. Does this mean they will refund Ralph Nader his money? Probably not.


It's only about $80K plus interest.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


5 more examples of voter fraud that wouldn't be fixed by voter ID.

Would you rather fight 1 Scalia-sized duck or 100 duck-sized Scalias?
[–]Jim_Obergefell [S] 1123 points  
[laughs]...oh god...I'd rather fight 1 Scalia-sized duck. Cause in essence I've already fought Scalia in court and I won. Also ducks make me laugh so while fighting him I'd laugh the whole time.

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