Message from Josh Douglas:
As Dan noted a few weeks ago, this year’s AALS Annual Meeting has lots of great programming for those interested in Election Law. (In fact, let’s just call Sunday “Election Law Day” at the AALS meeting, as there are three sessions devoted to the topic!)As the Chair of the brand-new Section on Election Law, I want to highlight our program on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. It’s on Sunday at 2:00 and will feature Pam Karlan, Dan Tokaji, Chris Elmendorf, Kareem Crayton, and David Gartner.Please stay for the business meeting after the program, when we will elect the new executive committee for the section. We hope to include a wide and diverse group of people to help lead the section.On Sunday there’s also the AALS Section on Civil Rights program on voter suppression at 8:30, and a Hot Topics panel on campaign finance at 4:00.Finally, I’d like to organize a dinner for anyone interested, for Sunday at 7:00. Please reply to me by Friday to let me know if you’d like to attend. I’ll send an email out on Friday night or Saturday with details of the location.Happy New Year!
Bauer on Williams-Yulee.
Regular ELB readers will recall that there is a major voting rights lawsuit against the State of North Carolina for controversial changes in voting rules passed by the Republican-dominated state legislature last year. Plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction to block some of the provisions, which the trial court denied. The 4th Circuit, however, on a 2-1 vote, partially granted a preliminary injunction as to two aspects of the law. The Supreme Court then blocked the 4th Circuit’s order.
That Supreme Court order was not a final ruling, and now the state of North Carolina has filed a petition for cert. seeking Supreme Court review in the case. There’s a pretty good chance that the Court grants review here, although it is possible that the Court takes a pass, given that there will be a trial on the merits this summer, followed by a likely appeal, meaning the full case on the merits could be before the Court before the 2016 elections.
Yesterday [corrected] the 10th Circuit panel which decided the Kobach v. EAC case issued this one line order denying rehearing. Kansas and Arizona did not seek rehearing en banc, so the only place to go now is SCOTUS for further appeals.
If the Court takes the case it could be a major one about the scope of federal versus state power in setting election rules for federal elections.
A potential complication: a new EAC that could well deadlock on any decisions about how to litigate this case.
Records show Webb’s committee essentially ceased political activities once he revealed his decision to leave Congress. However, the Born Fighting PAC continued to contribute to Webb’s family long after it had stopped giving to the candidates and groups it was ostensibly established to support.
Campaign finance reports show the committee has not given any money to political candidates or groups since the end of 2010. Yet the PAC has continued to take donations. Over $100,000 from the final balance in Webb’s Senate campaign account, now closed, was transferred to the committee after he left office at the start of last year.
Most of the money Webb’s wife and daughter received from the committee came after it had stopped giving money to politicians and political groups.
Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have found that the law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, P.C., has paid Mr. Silver the sums over roughly a decade, but that he did not list that income on his annual financial disclosure forms, as required, the people said.