Today, True the Vote asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm that state legislatures have the constitutional authority and expertise to balance election access and integrity concerns, so their statutes must control federal elections.
True the Vote's friend-of-the-court brief was filed in Wise v. Circosta, Case No. 20A71. The case involves the deadline for receipt of mail in ballots. Though the legislature recently revised their election law to adjust the law for COVID-19 concerns, the legislature did not extend the deadline, which required mail in ballots to be received by election day. The North Carolina election board, however, illegally ordered election official to count ballots received up to 6 days later.
The Fourth Circuit appellate court en banc upheld the extension of the absentee-ballot-receipt deadline by the North Carolina election board even though they acknowledged that it was illegal under North Carolina election law. An important three-judge dissent said the failure to follow the constitutional mandate that state legislatures control such laws “incentivizes an avalanche of partisan and destabilizing litigation duly enacted by state legislatures.”
True the Vote highlighted that this case presents a unique opportunity to abate the chaotic flood of near-election litigation inundating this Court and our Republic as a result of a well-funded nation-wide litigation effort by Democrats to strike down many of the anti-fraud provisions in current election laws and to sow chaos in voting procedures so that after the election the Democrats can have lawyers and judges determine the outcome of the election, rather than voters. True the Vote asked the Court to provide guidance regarding the flawed constitutional analysis employed by lower courts struggling to deal with current and future near-election changes in election laws by state officials and courts.
True the Vote noted that 411 cases have been filed involving COVID-19 claims in elections and this litigation flood will continue to overwhelm the courts if the Supreme Court doesn't reaffirm that only legislatures have the authority and expertise to balance election access with election-integrity concerns, such as ballot fraud and a sudden flood of mailed ballots.
True the Vote said the Court should reemphasize the primacy of long-standing legislative enactments and that its tests and guiding principles protect them. And it should make clear that near-election changes in state election laws by state officials or courts, overturning long-standing legislative enactments, should not be allowed. This reemphasis will reassert what the Constitution requires, abate the litigation flood, and restore confidence in elections.
James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm, PC, General Counsel for True the Vote, says: “Without a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court, making clear that under the U.S. Constitution only legislatures have the authority and expertise to prescribe how an election is to be conducted, courts will continue to be inundated and overwhelmed by election lawsuits. The U.S. Supreme Court must take this opportunity to reemphasize the constitutional mandate that only long-standing, legislatively enacted laws govern elections, not last-minute illegal changes by state bureaucrats and state courts. Doing so will stop the flood of lawsuits and restore the confidence of voters in the integrity of our elections.”
The Amicus Brief is available here.