Justia Election Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Worley, et al. v. FL Secretary of State, et al.
Challengers brought this action protesting Florida's campaign finance disclosure and campaign scheme both facially and as applied to them - a small, grassroots group spending in a ballot issue election. The court concluded that Florida's political committee (PAC) regulations were subject to "exacting scrutiny," so they must be substantially related to a sufficiently important government interest; promoting an informed electorate in a ballot issue election was a sufficiently important governmental interest to justify the Florida PAC regulations at issue; and Florida adequately demonstrated that existing PAC regulations were substantially related to a sufficiently important government interest. The court also concluded that Florida's advertising disclaimer requirement was constitutional. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Worley, et al. v. FL Secretary of State, et al." on Justia Law
Swann v. Secretary, State of Georgia, et al.
Plaintiff sued the Secretary and several elected officials, alleging that the officials' application of a Georgia statute that governed absentee voting, Ga. Code Ann. 21-2-381(a)(1)(D), denied him the right to have a ballot mailed to him at the jail and prevented him from voting while he was incarcerated in the fall of 2008. The court vacated the summary judgment entered by the district court and remanded with instructions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiff's alleged injury was not fairly traceable to any actions of the officials where plaintiff would not have received a ballot at the jail regardless of the officials' application of the statute when he provided only his home address on his application for an absentee ballot. View "Swann v. Secretary, State of Georgia, et al." on Justia Law
Brown, et al. v. State, et al
Appellants, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, along with the Florida House of Representatives, appealed from a district court order granting final summary judgment to appellees, the Florida Secretary of State and various intervening parties. At issue was whether a state constitutional provision, Amendment Six, establishing standards for congressional redistricting that was approved by the people by initiative was contrary to the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court held that Florida voters' act of lawmaking according to the state's expressly enumerated lawmaking process was fully consistent with the commands of the Elections Clause, and consonant with the understanding given to the Elections Clause by the Supreme Court in Ohio ex rel. Davis v. Hildebrant and Smiley v. Holm. The court also held that the factors enumerated in Amendment Six have been for many years commonly considered by legislative bodies in congressional redistricting and long accepted by the courts as being lawful and consistent with the powers delegated to the state legislatures by the U.S. Constitution. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Brown, et al. v. State, et al" on Justia Law
Amer. Assoc.of People with Disabilities, et al. v. Harris, et al.
Plaintiffs, visually or manually impaired Florida citizens who were registered to vote in Duval County, Florida and were represented by the American Association of People with Disabilities, filed a putative class action against defendants, alleging that defendants violated federal statutory and state constitutional provisions by failing to provide handicapped-accessible voting machines to visually or manually impaired Florida voters after the 2000 general election. The court vacated its prior opinion and in its revised opinion, held that the district court erroneously granted plaintiffs' requested declaratory judgment and injunction against purported violations of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213, and the regulations promulgated thereunder. The opinion, however, based that outcome exclusively on the ground that voting machines were not "facilities" under 28 C.F.R. 35.151(b). View "Amer. Assoc.of People with Disabilities, et al. v. Harris, et al." on Justia Law