Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Election Law
  • Date Filed: June 11, 2018
  • Case #: 16-980
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, and GORSUCH, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a concurring opinion. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SOTOMAYOR, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
  • Full Text Opinion

The Ohio voter removal process does not violate the National Voter Registration Act.

Respondents brought suit over an Ohio law aimed to keep voter registration lists accurate, as is required by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Respondents argued that the law was incompatible with the NVRA and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Most prominently, Respondents argued that the law violated NVRA’s “Failure-to-Vote-Clause,” as failing to vote for two years initiated the process by which voters could be removed from the State’s voter rolls. The district court held that the process did not violate the “Failure-to-Vote-Clause” and the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed. The Supreme Court reversed the decision, holding that Ohio law does not violate the NVRA. The Supreme Court stated that the “Failure-to-Vote-Clause” forbids states from removing voters “solely” for failing to vote. The Court reasoned that Ohio law also requires voters to fail to respond to a notice confirming their residence; therefore removal was not based solely on a failure to vote. The Court further reasoned that the law is aligned with congressional intent and judgment and it complies directly with “subsection (d)” of the NVRA and HAVA by establishing a four-year waiting period after lack of response to notice before removing voters. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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