Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

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Nichols is a resident, property owner, and taxpayer in the City of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Rehoboth Beach held a special election, open to residents of more than six months, for approval of a $52.5 million bond issue to finance an ocean outfall project. The resolution passed. Nichols voted in the election. She then filed suit challenging the election and the resultant issuance of bonds. The district court, reasoning that Nichols was not contesting the expenditure of tax funds, but the legality of the Special Election; found that Nichols, having voted, lacked standing; and dismissed. The Third Circuit affirmed, stating that because Nichols failed to show an illegal use of municipal taxpayer funds, she cannot establish standing on municipal taxpayer grounds. The court rejected her claims of municipal taxpayer standing on the basis of two expenditures by Rehoboth Beach: the funds required to hold the special election and the funds used to purchase an advertisement in a local newspaper. View "Nichols v. City of Rehoboth Beach" on Justia Law

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Aspiring political parties and their members challenged, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, the constitutionality of two provisions of Pennsylvania’s election code: 25 Pa. Stat. 2911(b) and 2937. The provisions, respectively, regulate the number of signatures required to attain a position on the general election ballot and govern the process by which private individuals can sue in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court to challenge the validity of a candidate’s nomination paper or petition. At the summary judgment stage, the district court held that, acting in combination, the two provisions, as applied, violated plaintiffs’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. On appeal, the Commonwealth argued that neither named state official has a sufficient connection to the challenged provisions to be a proper defendant and that the court’s order was “incoherent on its face” The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting the “technical issues” raised by the Commonwealth. Both the Secretary of the Commonwealth and its Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation had a sufficient connection to the enforcement of the challenged provisions as required under Ex Parte Young. View "Constitution Party of Pa. v. Cortes" on Justia Law