Justia Election Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed the appeal brought by the Department of Health and Human Services (Department) from a partial judgment entered in the Business and Consumer Docket mandating the implementation of one provision of the citizen initiative expanding Medicaid coverage. The initiating petition in this case requested numerous forms of relief. The superior court addressed only one component of the requested relief due to ripeness issues. The Supreme Judicial Court decided that it must dismiss this appeal as interlocutory because the petition was not disposed of in its entirety and no exception to the final judgment rule existed. View "Maine Equal Justice Partners v. Commissioner, Department of Health & Human Services" on Justia Law

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Ranked-choice voting is the current statutory law of Maine for the primary elections scheduled for June 12, 2018. The superior court reported seven questions to the Supreme Judicial Court addressing the Secretary of State’s planned implementation of ranked-choice voting in Maine’s primary elections to be held on June 12, 2018. The Court answered Question 3 on its merits and held (1) the Court assumes without deciding that the Maine Senate has standing to seek a declaration regarding the legal status of ranked-choice voting in the June 2018 primary elections and to challenge in court the operational planning of the Secretary of State; (2) the answer to Question 3 is that ranked-choice voting is Maine’s statutory law for the June 2018 primary elections; (3) Questions 1 and 2 are not justiciable; and (4) the remaining questions are moot. View "Maine Senate v. Secretary of State" on Justia Law

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Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting (MFBH) is a Maine ballot question committee that was a proponent of November 2014 Ballot Question 1 concerning bear hunting and trapping. As early as September 2013, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife used agency resources to communicate with the public in opposition to Question 1. MFBH filed a complaint against the Department alleging that the Department’s campaign activities constituted an ultra vires expenditure of public funds. In November 2014, Maine voters defeated the ballot question. The Department subsequently filed a motion to dismiss MFBH’s complaint on the grounds of mootness and standing. In March 2015, the superior court dismissed the complaint as moot. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the case is moot and that no exceptions to the mootness doctrine apply. View "Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting v. Dep’t of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife" on Justia Law