“The Loophole That Could Cost Donald Trump the Nomination”

…“beauty contest,” which is a presidential primary preference vote. The winner of the beauty contest gets all of Pennsylvania’s 17 at-large and bonus delegates. But the remaining 54 — the three delegates awarded to each congressional district — are unbound and elected in the delegate selection primary. In this part, voters directly elect delegates to the national convention. What makes Pennsylvania’s G.O.P. delegate selection primary so distinctiv…

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“Sanders, Not Trump, Scaring Democratic Convention Donors”

…ities and also wants the wealthiest Americans to pay their “fair share” of taxes. Rendell, who was a Democratic Pennsylvania governor and worked with previous DNC host committees, said “there are always a few people that have some excuse for not giving money,” but that it also has been harder to raise funds this year because some donors who usually finance both conventions are sitting them out to avoid any association with a potential nomination…

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“Americans for Prosperity launches $1 million campaign touting U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson”

…ied group, Concerned Veterans for America, has taken the lead in running ads praising Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rep. Joseph J. Heck, a Republican seeking to replace Sen. Harry M. Reid, the chamber’s Democratic leader, in Nevada. But the activities of the Koch-backed groups could also provide fodder for Democrats, who have sought to cast the candidates they support as beholden to the interests of the billionaire industrialists….

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“Ralph Nader: Why Bernie Sanders was right to run as a Democrat”

…in Iraq, and no massive tax cuts for the richest. Unfortunately, Nader was primarily interested in defeating Gore by campaigning in Florida and Pennsylvania in the final days of the campaign – rather than securing the most votes for the Green Party in Texas, or California or New York. Nader certainly will go down in history as one of the most destructive forces of progressivism in US politics in the last 100 years….

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“The GOP — and its big funders — scramble to insulate Congress from Trump”

…s such as the Koch brothers’ political network, which has already begun laying groundwork in Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with the Crossroads organizations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The behemoth Koch operation — which aims to spend almost $900 million before the November elections — is now considering abandoning Trump as a nominee and focusing its resources on behalf of GOP congressional candidates. See also Bloomberg’s W…

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Drip, Drip, Drip Dept

Philly.com: In a shift, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said Wednesday he will meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but still insisted that the high court vacancy should not be filled until after November’s election. “President Obama’s team has asked if I would meet with Judge Merrick Garland, and I have agreed to do so out of courtesy and respect for both the president and the judge,” Toomey, a Republican, said in a statement Wednesday…

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“Supreme Court Nomination Drives Groups From Left and Right to Fight”

NYT: More than 100 protest rallies are being scheduled in key electoral states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa. Television advertisements are being scripted. Twitter and Facebook campaigns are rolling out, and email blasts are filling up inboxes. With the nomination of Merrick B. Garland on Wednesday by President Obama to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, advoc…

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“Challenge to John Kasich on Pennsylvania ballot dropped”

CNN: The ballot challenge in Pennsylvania that threatened to derail John Kasich’s rising presidential campaign has been dropped. Nathaniel Rome, the chairman of Pennsylvania Students for Rubio and a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, has decided to drop the challenge to Kasich’s standing on the ballot, according to Chris Bravacos, Marco Rubio’s Pennsylvania state chairman and the brother of the lawyer representing Rom…

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“The 13 minutes that could make — or break — Kasich’s campaign”

…he saving grace for John Kasich‘s presidential campaign strategy, one that relies heavily on the state of Pennsylvania — a state where Kasich’s lawyers are battling to keep him on the ballot. Central to that battle is a missed deadline by a Marco Rubio supporter in the state who objected to hundreds of signatures filed by Kasich’s campaign to get onto the state’s ballot. The deadline was missed, according to Kasich&#…

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“Pennsylvania Judge Rules That Ted Cruz is Eligible to Run for President”

WSJ: A Pennsylvania judge has rejected an effort to kick Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz off the state primary ballot, ruling that the Texas senator’s birth outside of the United States doesn’t disqualify him from the ballot under the U.S. Constitution. The ruling is the latest legal victory for Mr. Cruz on the eligibility question. So-called “birther” suits have been filed in other states, including New York and Illinois. The cases i…

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“For John Kasich, a battle over signatures to appear on Pa. primary ballot”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s own lawyer agrees the presidential campaign submitted fewer valid signatures than are required for the candidate to appear on Pennsylvania’s primary ballot. But he argued in court Wednesday that it doesn’t matter because an objection to Mr. Kasich’s nominating petitions was filed 13 minutes too late….

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Tokaji: Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President? Let’s Find Out

…enator Cruz’s eligibility and seeking his removal from the state’s primary ballot. There’s at least one state – Pennsylvania – where the deadline for filing hasn’t yet expired, but if skeptics of Cruz’s eligibility want to sue there they must act quickly, no later than Tuesday. Litigating the case through the courts of Pennsylvania or another state would tee up the issue for Supreme Court review, which would be helpful in resolving the recurrent…

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Plutocrats United Book Tour to Philly and Boston (Cambridge) This Week

…crats United tour: February 18, Philadelphia, PA, National Constitution Center (with Ned Foley and Judge Jeremy Fogel) (12 pm event) (details and rsvp) February 18, Philadelphia PA, University of Pennsylvania Law School (4:30 pm event) (details) February 19, Boston/Cambridge, Harvard Law School (lunchtime event) (details) February 19, Cambridge, Scholars Strategy Network (details; “Seats limited. RSVP to events@scholarsstrategynetwork.org)…

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“Texas consultant to Rand Paul loses Pa. election law challenge”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A federal judge has denied a temporary restraining order to a Texas man challenging Pennsylvania election law and seeking to circulate petitions for Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul. Texas resident Trent Pool, and his firm Benezet Consulting, LLC, allege that their First Amendment right to circulate nominating petitions for the April primary election ballot is unconstitutionally limited by three provisions in…

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“Wholly Foreign to the First Amendment”?: Political Inequality Forty Years After Buckley v. Valeo

Looking forward to this Plutocrats United-related event: February 18, 4:30-5:30 PM, University of Pennsylvania Law School 3501 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 Silverman Hall 240A   Featuring: Rick Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine Tabatha Abu El-Haj, Associate Professor, Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University Jesus Gonzalez, Churches United for Fair Housing Adam Lioz,…

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Plutocrats United: The Book Tour and Talks (UPDATED)

…th Ned Foley and Michael Gerhardt) (12 pm event) (details and rsvp) February 18, Philadelphia PA, University of Pennsylvania Law School (4:30 pm event) (details) February 19, Boston/Cambridge, Harvard Law School (lunchtime event) (details) February 19, Cambridge, Scholars Strategy Network (details; “Seats limited. RSVP to events@scholarsstrategynetwork.org) February 26, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Law School (First Amendment symposium) (details and…

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“Roundtable – Preparing for Election 2016 in Battleground Jurisdictions”

…aw State University Brian Corley, MPA, Supervisor of Elections, Pasco County Florida Honorable Pedro A. Cortés, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Luanne Cutler, Registrar of Voters, Washoe County, Nevada Matt Damschroder, Assistant Secretary of State, Ohio Robert Dezmelyk, Moderator, Town of Newton, New Hampshire Sandra Juno, Clerk, Brown County, Wisconsin Honorable Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State J. Kirk Showalter, General Registrar, City of Ri…

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Ned Foley: Ballot Battles in the Nineteenth Century Were Beset by Violence and Civil Strife; Not So in the Twentieth, and This Progress is Reason to Hope for Even More

…nrest, as a result of ballot-counting battles than the twentieth century.  From Pennnsylvania’s Buckshot War in Pennsylvania 1838 to Arkansas’s Brooks-Baxter War in 1872 to Kansas’s Legislative War of 1893, military confrontation over counting ballots in close elections was not uncommon.  The lowest moment came at the end of the nineteenth century, when one of the candidates in Kentucky’s 1899 election for governor was assassinated by his politic…

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“Bush v. Gore Fifteen Years Later: The Supreme Court and American Democracy”

…Democracy Tuesday, December 15, 2015 12:00 PM – 02:00 PM   Event Location: Open Society Foundations 1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW 7th Floor Washington, DC 20006 Details:  On December 15, ACS will host a panel discussion reflecting on the 2000 presidential election, the unprecedented court battle that ensued, and the Supreme Court decision that brought it to a close. As the 2016 presidential election quickly approaches, panelists will address bo…

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“Rich Tradition of Minority Party Representation Continues in Pennsylvania and Connecticut”

…hes for FairVote: An interesting thing happened this year on Election Day in towns, cities, and counties across Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Despite the odds being stacked against them, minority parties earned representation thanks to fair representation voting methods. Many of the jurisdictions we highlight that use these sorts of non-winner-take-all voting methods had those systems imposed upon them by judges in Voting Rights Act cases, but ju…

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“2016’s ‘Missing Voters’ Can Be Found with Automatic Voter Registration”

…million eligible citizens in those states—Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—are missing from the voter rolls. Overall, these “missing voters” amount to half, and in some cases more than half, of the total votes cast for president in these states. This should ring huge alarm bells for those who care about our society’s health and future. Fortunately, there is a solution. In…

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“Gyrocopter Pilot Douglas Hughes: ‘I’m Proud of What I Did’”

…rge related to his gyrocopter flight to the Capitol in April — but he is not ashamed. The Florida man flew from Pennsylvania to the Capitol on April 15, to deliver letters to Congress pushing for a campaign finance overhaul. He was immediately arrested for breaching restricted airspace and later indicted on two felony and four misdemeanor charges. After several months of negotiations, Hughes is poised to accept a plea deal this month. “I’m proud…

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“Checks and Balance: Let the Sun Shine, Conservatives!”

…P. But last month’s report, released in tandem with the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, drew instant fire from the Center for Competitive Politics, which promotes political deregulation. The CPA-Zicklin Index “is a deceptive tool used to sell more and more companies on the idea of corporate ‘transparency’ with the partisan goal of removing these voices from the public policy debate altogether…

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“Is There a Silver Lining to Citizens United?”

…chance requires post-2020 congressional redistricting with Democrats in control in such key states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina, allowing the party to take control of the House in 2022. The Roberts court has deregulated campaign finance on the premise that the only legitimate grounds for restricting money in politics is to prevent explicit corruption. In doing so, however, the court has sanctioned a pervasively corrupt…

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“2015 CPA-Zicklin Index Expands to Cover S&P 500; Shows Steady Growth in Publicly Held Companies Adopting Political Disclosure, Restricting Spending”

…ers received sharply higher scores; 25 percent of companies place some type of restriction on their political spending; and almost nine out of 10 companies recognize the importance of adopting political spending policies. The Index was released today by the Center for Political Accountability in conjunction with the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania….

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“Could Donald Trump win the Republican presidential nomination?”

…tes will be holding their primaries after March 15:  Arizona, Utah, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Indiana, Nebraska, West Virginia, Oregon, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and DC.  Apparently dates are not yet firmed up for New York, North Dakota, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Washington, and Wyoming.  Game theory suggests that there will be advantages to coming late pre…

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“Fattah Buttonholed Obama Directly, According to Indictment”

…cluded an in-person effort to get President Barack Obama to give a lobbyist an ambassadorship. Fattah, a powerful Pennsylvania Democrat, is a longtime ally of the president’s and a frequent visitor to the White House. But according to the indictment, Fattah abused his relationship with the president and his staff and tried to get the lobbyist a nomination, first as an ambassador and later as a member of “a federal trade commission.”…

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” U.S. District Court Rules Pennsylvania System of Imposing Costs on Minor Party Petitions that Lack Sufficient Signatures is Unconstitutional”

BAN: On July 24, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel issued a 41-page opinion in Constitution Party of Pennsylvania v Cortes, e.d., 12-cv-2726. He determined that Pennsylvania’s system of charging huge court costs against petitioning candidates and groups violates the U.S. Constitution, as applied to the minor parties who filed the lawsuit. The three parties who filed the lawsuit are the Constitution, Green and Libertarian Parties. UPDATE…

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“Pilot Who Landed Gyrocopter at US Capitol Facing 6 Charges”

AP: A Florida man who piloted a gyrocopter through miles of America’s most restricted airspace before landing at the U.S. Capitol is now facing charges that carry up to 9½ years in prison….Hughes, who took off from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested April 15 after he landed on the Capitol’s West Lawn. Hughes has said his flight was intended to call attention to the influence of big money in politics….

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Brennan Center, Volokh File Brief in Employee Candidate Case

…ion in democratic elections. On March 16, 2015, the Brennan Center for Justice, along with Common Cause and the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment, filed an amicus brief authored by Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, in Lawson v. Union County Clerk of Court. The brief supports Melanie Lawson, the plaintiff-appellant, in her appeal of the lower court’s decision upholding her termination. Lawson, while…

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Josh Douglas: “The Right to Vote Amendment is Worth At Least One Candle: A Reply to Heather Gerken”

…  Courts that properly construed their state constitutions as going beyond the federal constitution, such as in Pennsylvania and Arkansas, invalidated the voter ID laws.  But courts that lockstepped their state constitutional protection with federal law, such as in Georgia and Wisconsin, generally upheld the state’s laws.  If there were a right-to-vote provision in the U.S. Constitution, it is more likely that these courts would have lockstepped…

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“The Fall and Rise of Specialized Federal Constitutional Courts”

The final version of Michael Solimine’s very important article (University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law). Here is the abstract: Most constitutional challenges in federal court to federal statutes are litigated in the familiar pattern of a decision by a single U.S. District judge, followed by an appeal to a three-judge panel of one of the U.S. Court of Appeals, followed by the filing of a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supr…

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“California State Appeals Court Hearing Goes Badly for Minor Parties”

…aine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The attorney for the state told the panel that the fact that few minor party or independents qualify for the November ballot is immaterial. In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Washington state’s old system, a blanket primary in which all candidates ran in the September primary, and candidates who failed t…

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“New Census Estimates Show Slight Changes For Congressional Apportionment Now, But Point to Larger Changes by 2020”

…rict (going from their current 8 districts down to 7 districts). The new 2014 estimates shows the state of Texas will also gain a district (going from 36 to 37 districts), while the state of Pennsylvania will drop from 18 to 17 districts if apportionment was done with the new numbers. All other states would keep the same number of representatives they were awarded in December, 2010 when the official 2010 Census numbers were released….

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Election Law and Legislation at the AALS Annual Meeting

…Law Perspectives on Federal Power Under the Reconstruction Amendments (Papers to be published in University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law Online) William D. Araiza, Brooklyn Law School Allison Orr Larsen, William & Mary Law School Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia School of Law Bertrall Ross, University of California, Berkeley School of Law Moderator: Derek T. Muller, Pepperdine University School of Law 2:00 pm –…

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“The Democratic Party’s Long Term Problem Is Worse Than You Think”

…ral difficulties Democrats face in taking back the U.S. House: “[E]ven in … big swing states [Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina] Republicans have large majorities in the state legislatures — a holdover from 2010 redistricting on the state level…. But even if Democrats were to get something approaching neutral maps in these big states, [Cook’s David] Wasserman estimates, it could result in just a c…

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“Measuring Illegal and Legal Corruption in American States”

…, Oregon, and Vermont. It is all bad news for Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania as their aggregate scores are in the highest quartiles of both illegal and legal corruption. Not so bad news for the Dakotas, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Vermont, and Wyoming, which are perceived least corrupt both illegally and legally. I note that the survey’s definition of “legal corruption”…

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“Uncounted Votes The Racially Discriminatory Effects of Provisional Ballots”

…olorado, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Utah. The list of states and the number of provisional ballots cast—nearly 2 percent of all in-person ballots—suggest the option is being used beyond what was originally intended. “Provisional ballots were designed to be a fail safe to ensure voters can have their voice heard under unusual circumstances,”…

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We Get Letters

…more times than the lawful one time – particularly in Democrat strongholds and precincts. Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states were captured by Democrat candidates in 2008 and 2012 by voter irregularities. Of course, with a DOJ headed by Eric Holder, those irregularities were swept aside. Well, look, toying with someone who declines to leave his email address with the liberalista Oregonian is no fun. It’s obvious to me that…

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Top Recent Downloads in Election Law on SSRN

…st Revised: 13 Sep 2014 9 44 Against Elections: The Lottocratic Alternative Alexander A. Guerrero University of Pennsylvania – Department of Philosophy Date posted to database: 30 Aug 2014 Last Revised: 30 Aug 2014 10 43 Empirically Measuring the Impact of Photo ID Over Time and Its Impact on Women Michael J. Pitts Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Date posted to database: 12 Aug 2014 Last Revised: 12 Aug 2014…

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Breaking: Challengers to WI Voter ID Law Seek Emergency SCOTUS Order: Analysis

…ould not allow South Carolina’s voter id law to quickly go into effect without an orderly rollout, and in Pennsylvania, where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would not allow an id law to go into effect without a chance for everyone who wants to get an id to be able to do so.  In the South Carolina case, the id law (as modified to make it less drastic) was allowed to go into effect by a three-judge court. In Pennsylvania, the state could neve…

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“Study: Major companies are increasingly disclosing their political spending”

…ucts the annual survey in conjunction with the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania. CPI: Watch your Netflix show, wear your Ralph Lauren shirt, brew your Keurig coffee and deposit your paycheck at M&T Bank. Just know that you’re patronizing some of the nation’s least politically transparent companies, according to a new study to be formally released this morning by the nonpartisan Center f…

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WI Voter ID: Electoral Chaos Begins

…e right documents (or the right documents needed to get the right documents) in time for the imminent election. Even if voter id could be smoothly implemented in Wisconsin, it should not be done in this irresponsible way. In Pennsylvania, courts put the state’s voter id on hold when the state could not demonstrate it could get ids into the hands of voters who wanted them in time. Here, there’s no chance it can be done in time….

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