Category Archives: term limits

“Will fairer districts mean longer Ohio legislative terms?”

Cincinnati Enquirer:

Ohio lawmakers coalesced at the last minute to approve a deal that could make its legislative maps fairer and more competitive — and could open the way to examine letting those legislators serve longer in office.

With redistricting reform headed to Ohio voters in 2015, many legislators believe now is the time to review the state’s term limit restrictions.


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Breaking: Justice Ginsburg Fixes Her Texas Voter ID Dissent After ELB Notes Error

Yesterday I had a post noting an apparent small error in Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Texas voter id case. The Justice said a Veterans ID card was not acceptable for voting, but it appears that it is acceptable.

Today the Justice issued a revised dissent. SCOTUSBlog reports:

In ticking off her objections, Ginsburg wrote that Texas would not even accept “photo ID cards issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.”  On Wednesday, the Justice conceded that that comment was incorrect.  That kind of ID card, she said through the Court’s public information office, is “an acceptable form of photo identification for voting in Texas.”  So she simply deleted the sentence, and reissued the opinion.  The Court also said that she had made “small stylistic changes” on two pages of her opinion, and that the corrected version could be read on the Court’s website.


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Federal Court Denies Wisconsin’s Request for Stay in Voter ID Case, Explains Basis for Decision

The federal district court in Frank v. Walker has issued this detailed ruling denying Wisconsin’s request for a stay pending appeal in the voter id case.  A stay would have allowed Wisconsin to use its id law in the upcoming election.  Wisconsin has already sought a similar stay in the 7th Circuit, and the 7th Circuit has asked for a response from plaintiffs by Aug. 19.

The district court ruling today not only denies the stay but defends the ruling against a number of attacks.  I think the order makes it somewhat more likely that the 7th Circuit will not grant Wisconsin’s request for a stay pending appeal.

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Nevada Supreme Court Wants Response to Petition for Rehearing in Term Limits Case

Las Vegas Review Journal:

In the law, a motion for reconsideration is the longest of shots, the least hale of Hail Marys, the 60-yard field-goal attempt with less than a minute on the clock, the full-court jump shot at the buzzer, the … well, you get the idea. It almost never works.

But there are those extremely rare cases where it’s successful, where a court will cop to having made a mistake, overlooked a material fact, or misapplied past precedents. And that’s precisely what former Reno Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza is counting on with her latest legal effort.

Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that a person’s service on a local government body — such as the Reno City Council — is limited to 12 years under the state’s term-limits law, regardless of whether one is serving as a council member or the mayor. Thus, having served 12 years on the council, Sferrazza and all similarly situated officials throughout the state, are now banned for life from running for mayor. (Sferrazza and Reno Councilman Dwight Dortch contended — quite correctly, in my view — that mayor was a separate office, and thus a person could run and serve another 12 years, just as a person can serve 12 years in the Assembly and then run for and serve another 12 in the state Senate.)

Today, Sferrazza’s attorney — Bradley Schrager of Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin — filed a motion for reconsideration with the Nevada Supreme Court, contended that justices had overlooked relevant precedents in their ruling.

And now the Court wants a response.

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Asymmetric Polarization in Congress

Political Wire:

Harry Enten looks at statistics that rank members of Congress on a scale from -1 for most liberal to 1 for most conservative and finds Senate and House Democrats have been fairly stable at -0.4 since 1992.

“There has, however, been an increase in partisanship in the House, and it truly is ‘asymmetrical’. The Republican House caucus has been becoming more conservative every year since 1977, whether or not House Republicans are winning or losing elections. Republicans have climbed from 0.4 on the DW nominate scales after the 1992 elections to near 0.7 in the last congress. That type of charge towards polarization is historically unusual over data that stretches back 130 years.”

Likewise, Senate Republicans “have slowly and become more conservative in their roll call votes by moving from about 0.3 to 0.5 on the scale.”

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Las Vegas Journal Rev. Ed Writer Says He Met with Noncitizens Registered by Unions to Vote and Pressured to Vote

Glenn Cook: “Last week, I met with two immigrant noncitizens who are not eligible to vote, but who nonetheless are active registered voters for Tuesday’s election. They said they were signed up by Culinary Local 226. They speak and understand enough English to get by. But they don’t read English especially well. They say the Culinary official who registered them to vote didn’t tell them what they were signing and didn’t ask whether they were citizens. The immigrants said they trusted that the union official’s request was routine, thought nothing of it and went about their work. Then the election drew closer. Then the Culinary canvassers started seeking them out and ordering them to go vote.”

This definitely requires further investigation.

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“Paul Ryan Presents GOP Term-Limits Dilemma”

Roll Call: “Republican chairmanship term limits are bringing a dilemma for the party in the next Congress: whether to break the rules for a promising intellectual leader of the party while denying his ambitious colleagues the same opportunity. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is term-limited at the end of this Congress, having ascended to the ranking member position on the panel in 2006. Republicans count time served as chairman and ranking member toward term limits. GOP officials and aides said they expect significant pressure for the Steering Committee to grant Ryan, the public face of House Republicans on budget and economic issues, a waiver from the six-year term limits rule, allowing him to stay on.”

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