Justia Election Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Delaware Supreme Court
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On April 5, 2021, Michael Capriglione was elected to a two-year term as a Commissioner of the Town of Newport. On the eve of his swearing-in ceremony, the Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Delaware, petitioned for a writ of quo warranto contending that Capriglione was prohibited from serving as a Commissioner because he had been convicted of misdemeanor official misconduct for actions he took as Newport’s police chief in 2018. That offense, the State argued, was a disqualifying “infamous crime” under Art. II, sec. 21 of the Delaware Constitution. The Superior Court stayed Capriglione’s swearing in to resolve this question and eventually held that he was constitutionally barred from holding public office. The Delaware Supreme Court considered Capriglione’s appeal on an expedited basis, hearing oral argument on July 14, 2021. On July 16, the Supreme Court issued an order reversing the Superior Court and allowing Capriglione to take the oath of office. In this opinion, the Court explained its reasons for doing so: under Section 21, only felonies can be disqualifying “infamous” crimes. View "Capriglione v. Delaware, et al." on Justia Law

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The issue on appeal before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the Chancellor correctly interpreted 15 Del. C. Sec. 3306, which allows political parties to replace candidates who become incapacitated. The Court held that under the statute, the term "incapacity" includes situations where a candidate would be practically incapable of fulfilling the duties of office in a minimally adequate way. In determining whether the standard was met, the Chancellor could consider events that occurred after the candidate withdrew. In this case, the Court concluded the withdrawing candidate was incapacitated and therefore affirmed the Court of Chancery's judgment. View "Sussex County Dept. of Elections, et al. v. Sussex County Republican Committee, et al." on Justia Law