Articles Posted in Election Law

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These five John Doe proceedings, referred to as the “John Doe investigation,” were overseen by a single John Doe judge and organized by a single special prosecutor. The purpose of the John Doe investigation was to root out allegedly illegal campaign coordination between certain issue advocacy groups and a candidate for elective office. The special prosecutor obtained wide-ranging subpoenas and search warrants for twenty-nine organizations and individuals seeking millions of documents. The John Doe judge granted the the motions of various targets to quash the subpoenas and search warrants and ordered the return of all seized property. The Supreme Court invalidated the special prosecutor’s theory of the case and ended the unconstitutional John Doe investigation, holding that the special prosecutor employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing. View "Schmitz v. Hon. Gregory A. Peterson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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Plaintiffs - the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, Voces de la Frontera, and numerous individuals - challenged several provisions of 2011 Wis. Act 23, Wisconsin’s voter photo identification act, as unconstitutional. Act 23 requires an elector to present one of nine acceptable forms of photo identification in order to vote. The circuit court declared Act 23’s photo identification requirements unconstitutional and granted permanent injunctive relief, finding that the time, inconvenience and costs incurred in obtaining Act 23-acceptable photo identification impermissibly burden the right to vote. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Plaintiffs failed to prove Act 23 unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt, as the burdens of time and inconvenience associated with obtaining Act 23-acceptable photo identification are not undue burdens on the right to vote and do not render the law invalid. View "Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP v. Walker" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, Inc. and its president, brought a facial challenge to Wisconsin’s voter identification law, asserting that the legislature lacked authority under Article III of the Wisconsin Constitution to require an elector to present Act 23-acceptable photo identification. Act 23 requires an elector to present one of nine acceptable forms of photo identification in order to vote. The circuit court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that the challenged portions of Act 23 were unconstitutional in that they served as a condition for voting at the polls. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiffs failed to show that the photo identification requirement was on its face an additional qualification for voting; (2) Act 23 was validly enacted pursuant to the legislature’s authority; and (3) Plaintiffs’ facial challenge failed because Act 23’s requirement to present photo identification is a reasonable regulation that could improve and modernize election procedures, safeguard voter confidence, and deter voter fraud. View "League of Women Voters of Wis. Educ. Network, Inc. v. Walker" on Justia Law