Tuesday, April 11, 2017

article at demos, linked by hasen, discusses state right to free and equal elections.


If I get more time I may add some thoughts. At least 30 states have a free and equal elections clause. In some states it's "free and open". A few states, such as Missouri and Colorado, have important decisions under the clause, while there are other states like Delaware that have no reported cases.
I wrote on this topic in my 1994 thesis at UMKC.

I'm a Gorsuch fan. But for the many who are not, this is a good time to get to know your state constitution, what's in it, how and why to litigate under it, how to add to it with amendments or legislation.

Justice Brennan was a champion of the  state constitutional approach, as he saw federal retrenchment under Reagan-Bush. He came from the New Jersey high court, which has always had a strong independent civil rights tradition. On the West Coast, Hans Linde was another advocate of rights under state constitutions. Unfortunately, the Brennan Center shares only the name, not the philosophy.

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