Supreme Court Denies Cert in Ohio Early Voting Case

The Supreme Court denied a last-ditch appeal from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, asking them to give immediate consideration to his petition to allow the state’s early voting restrictions, which were invalidated by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, to remain in place for this year’s election.

Without noted dissent, the Supreme Court at midday Tuesday turned aside a plea by state officials in Ohio to allow them to close down voting opportunities on the final three days before election day on November 6. The ruling was a significant victory for President Obama and for Democrats, especially since they claimed that the shuttering of voting offices on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before election day would be likely to affect low-income and minority voters — many of whom may be expected to vote Democratic.

The Court acted in a one-sentence order that contained no explanation. The action, though, left intact a lower-court order that required voting officials in the crucial electoral state to open the polls on that final weekend to all voters, if they open them to any voters. Ohio officials wanted to allow voting then only by members of the military and their families, on the theory that they might be called away suddenly on military duty. While it is up to each county’s election officials to decide whether to be open for voting on those days, many if not most — and, crucially, major cities — are expected to do so rather than shut out military voters altogether. Under the lower-court order, all voters must be treated the same for early voting.

So remember when Mitt Romney lied and said that this suit was an attack on the right of military personnel to vote early? He’s going to apologize and retract that lie now since no one is going to be denied the right to vote, right? Right? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • John Hinkle

    The court basically told Husted to suck it:

    The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by

    her referred to the Court is denied.

  • Mr. Upright

    The argument in right-wing circles is one of special rights. An acquaintance of mine made Romney’s argument that it denied rights to the military, even though she linked to an article that even said the the suit sought to open the 3-day period for all voters. Her argument was that military needed the extra time, and that it was unfair to them if everyone else was given the same amount of time.

  • Chiroptera

    If I recall correctly, this means that fewer than four of the nine justices think the appeal had any merit, right?

  • J Myers (no relation)

    Her argument was that military needed the extra time, and that it was unfair to them if everyone else was given the same amount of time.

    Would your acquaintance care to explain why it’s fair to get this special right to guard against the mere possibility that one might be deployed and therefore unable to vote, but it’s not fair to get this special right when faced with the reality that one cannot get to the polls that Tuesday for other reasons?

    And what happens if someone is deployed on Friday the 2nd?

  • Mr. Upright

    She and her fellow travelers argued that others didn’t deserve to vote if they couldn’t make it to the polls on election day.

    Dumbassery all around.

  • Crudely Wrott

    So, according to Jon Husted, all voters are equal except that those who may be more likely to vote according to Husted’s prejudice are more equal than all the others?

    Ok. Got it. Again, as if it hasn’t been obvious for a tiresome long time . . .

  • eric

    If I recall correctly, this means that fewer than four of the nine justices think the appeal had any merit, right?

    SCOTUS gets about 100 times the case requests they have time to hear, so a denial really doesn’t tell you much about what they were thinking.

    They could have mostly agreed with the ruling. Or, maybe they didn’t – maybe they thought the appeal had merit – but they thought there were more important cases they needed to hear. Or maybe they thought the appeal had merit but that this particular case is a bad case on which to hang a law. Or maybe there was some backroom horsetrading discussion, the outcome of which was a denial in this case in exchange for something else. I’d be cautious in trying to read minds; the numbers involved means there are going to be many many times when SCOTUS denies a hearing even when they disagree with the current ruling.