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FY20 Litigation Wrap-Up: A Comprehensive Review of Cases Leagues Are Engaged in Across the Country

BY THOMAS TAI
7/29/2020

 

COVID-19 has upended America’s election systems. With federal standards varying by state, the election laws throughout the country have widely differed in their response to the challenge of holding elections during a pandemic.  

COVID-19 is transmitted mainly by airborne droplets. Effectively, this means that close proximity with others is a health hazard, particularly for those with preexisting conditions and the elderly. As a result, in-person voting becomes difficult, if not impossible, as social distancing, capacity restraints, and poll workers refusing to come for fear of sickness leads to long lines, fewer polling places, and voter being disenfranchised due to early poll closing times in some states. Combined with preexisting voter suppression in states like Georgia, COVID-19 could disenfranchise thousands of voters in the upcoming election.  

In response, states have expanded absentee voting and vote-by-mail. Several states, including California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii will mail ballots to all registered voters for the November election. Other states like Iowa and Georgia mailed absentee ballot applications to every registered voter. Unfortunately, some states like Texas and Louisiana refused to alter their election systems, instead providing absentee ballot access to only those above 65 years of age or eligible due to statutory excuses. For more information on how states are preparing for elections during COVID-19 see this report from the Brennan Center for Justice. 

In many states, COVID-19 has also upset redistricting reform efforts. 2020 is the last election year before redistricting will occur. Fair redistricting advocates in several states had planned to place reform measures on the ballot to bypass unhelpful legislatures. Because of social distancing requirements, stay at home orders, and safety concerns, it became impossible for reformers to gather signatures for petitions at large events or go door to door. In response, the League filed or joined several lawsuits seeking relief in the form of online signature gathering, extension of signature-gathering deadlines, and/or lowering the number of signatures needed for an initiative to be placed on the ballot.  

The ramifications for the November election are deeply troubling. Even before the pandemic, we had a patchwork of states, with some being pro-voting rights and other anti-voting rights. COVID-19 has increased the gap between them. In some states, voters will have no choice but to brave the coronavirus and long lines to vote, while in others, they can safely fill out their ballot in the kitchen. And even for states with absentee ballots, recent troubles with the United States Post Office could mean ballots may not be received by voters in time to complete much less postmarked in time to be counted, depending on state laws. Because the post office provides vital services beyond the upcoming election cycle, it is important to adequately fund and support the services that USPS provides all year round.  

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the League of Women Voters has engaged in litigation across the country to ensure Americans can safely vote this year. Along with its efforts to protect voting rights during the pandemic, the League has continued to advocate for ERA ratification, immigrant rights, women’s health, D.C. voting rights, and voter purge prevention. 

Below is a brief description of the League’s litigation this year divided by topic. The volume of cases has dramatically increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on voting. LWVUS’ litigation team will also release a deep dive into our work by topic in August so be sure to check back if you want to learn more about our voting rights work.  

United States Supreme Court Cases 

  • Department of Homeland Security v. University of California - The League joined 45 organizations in a trio of consolidated cases (DHS v. University of California, Trump v. NAACP, and McAleenan v. Vidal) challenging the Trump Administration’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which since 2012, has been a lifeline for nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants.  The Court held that the administration’s decision to end DACA was (1) reviewable by the Court, and (2) “arbitrary and capricious,” under the Administrative Procedures Act, in violation of federal law. The rescission of DACA was vacated by the Court, and the trio of cases were remanded to their respective lower courts. (Last Updated: June 18, 2020) 

  • Bostock v. Clayton County, et al. - The League joined as amici for a trio of cases challenging whether anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. You can read our overview of the cases or the amazing blog by Liz Bander that provides deeper detail about these cases. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that firing people for their sexuality or gender identity is illegal under Title VII. (Last Updated: June 15, 2020) 

  •  June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee - The League joined a dozen other civic-minded organizations in filing an amicus brief supporting the doctors and healthcare clinic who asked the Court to uphold the precedent set in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt and strike down a virtually identical Louisiana law that unduly burdened the right to abortion The Supreme Court ruled that the lower court decision to close three abortion facilities was a substantial obstacle abortion access and reversed the decision; the clinics will remain open and women’s right to decide on reproductive choices was maintained. (Last Updated June 29, 2020)  

Fair Redistricting 

  • Daunt, et al. v. Benson - Filed amicus brief defending the constitutionality of Michigan’s new independent redistricting commission. The District Court and the 6th Circuit upheld the commission’s constitutionality. (Last updated: April 15, 2020) 

  • Thomas v. Reeves - Three Black Mississippi voters, LWV Mississippi and LWVUS as amicus, represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice, asserted Mississippi Senate District 22 was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The full 5th Circuit Court then dismissed the case and vacated the lower court judgments that were in favor of the League’s claims. The full court comes together to rule when it feels the issues at stake are particularly significant (Last Updated: June 18, 2020) 

  • Cases re People Not Politicians (Oklahoma SQ 810)  - Several Oklahoma voters alleged People Not Politicians’ redistricting reform initiative did not provide a proper “gist”, a summary describing it to potential petition signatories, violated the First Amendment, and the state’s single-subject rule for ballot initiatives. On May 27, the state Supreme Court rejected two new challenges and ruled the gist was sufficient. collection. People Not Politicians withdrew their ballot initiative after being unable to gather enough signatures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Last Updated May 27, 2020) 

  • Jackson v. Fair Maps Nevada, et al. - Rev. Leonard Jackson sued, claiming Fair Maps’ redistricting reform ballot initiative was misleading. In January, a Carson City District Court judge ruled in his favor, offering edits Fair Maps could make to address Rev. Jackson’s concerns. The court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss and placed the case on an expedited schedule. (Last Updated: March 27, 2020) 

  • Gill v. Whitford - The League filed a brief in this historic partisan gerrymandering case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017, arguing that partisan gerrymandering violates the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and that traditional redistricting principles, compactness, contiguity, and respect for political subdivisions, etc. – have no constitutional foundation. Because the Rucho decision ruled partisan gerrymandering was non-justiciable by federal courts, the case was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin without prejudice. (Last Updated: November 1, 2019) 

Witness and Excuse Requirements for Absentee Ballots 

Several states impose additional absentee ballot requirements, requiring that voters sign their ballot with a witness or public notary present in order for their vote to count. The League sued in multiple states to waive this requirement, on the ground requiring witnesses was an undue burden on voting, and possibly life-threatening to voters in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Also, while all states provide absentee ballots, many states forbid voters from requesting one without an excuse i.e. old age, sickness, military deployment, etc. Because of the pandemic, in-person voting has become difficult or possibly life-threatening for many voters. The League has sued in several states and requested courts to enjoin excuse requirements for the upcoming primary and general elections.  

  • League of Women Voters of Minnesota v. Simon   - Minnesota law requires absentee voters to obtain witness signatures from a registered Minnesota voter or notary public. Elections officials are required to reject ballots without witness signatures. On June 16, the parties entered a consent decree by which Minnesota waived the signature, address, title, and notary requirements for mail-in ballots in the August 11 primary election. (Last Updated: June 16, 2020) 

  • Clark v. Edwards  - LWV Louisiana, Crescent Media Group, and three individual plaintiffs, represented by the Southern Policy Law Center, Fair Elections Center, and Arnold & Porter, sued after Louisiana adopted an election plan that failed to adequately protect voters and their right to vote. The plaintiffs asserted that the excuse and witness signature requirements and the prohibition on voters curing mistakes on absentee ballots violated voters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights because they unduly burdened voter’s rights during a pandemic. The judge ruled that LWV and co-plaintiffs had insufficient standing to bring the case and dismissed it with prejudice but the League pushed back by filing a motion to reconsider and the ruling was changed to “without prejudice, meaning that litigation can be filed if issues arise in time for November (Last Updated: June 24, 2020) 

  • Missouri NAACP v. Missouri - Missouri law requires voters to fulfill a legally codified “excuse” for absentee voting, including “incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability.” This case is pending, and the state supreme court heard oral arguments on June 15. (Last Updated: April 20, 2020) 

  • Texas Democratic Party v. Debeauvoir - Texas does not allow no-excuse absentee voting. LWV Texas, LWV Texas – Austin Area, MOVE Texas, Workers Defense Fund, and a Texas voter requested a Texas state court to declare that the “disability” excuse under Texas’ absentee ballot rules applies to all Texas voters because in-person voting during the pandemic endangered their health. The Supreme Court, via an appeal, ruled that voters could consider aspects of their health and physical condition in deciding whether to apply for an absentee ballot on grounds of disability. In response, plaintiffs dismissed their lawsuit. (Last Updated: June 15, 2020) 

  • Collins v. Adams  - LWV Kentucky, NAACP KY, the Kentucky Urban League, six individual voters, represented by Covington Burling LLP, ACLU Kentucky, and the Lawyers’ Committee, requested that the court order Kentucky to waive its absentee excuse requirements and extend its pandemic mitigation election plans—including waiving the notary requirement for absentee voting, counting ballots postmarked by election day, and administering a reasonable notice and cure process—to the November election. A decision is expected in Summer 2020. (Last Updated: May 27, 2020) 

  • Gear v. Knudson  - LWV Wisconsin League joined the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans and four Wisconsin voters for one lawsuit and the Reverend Greg Lewis, Souls to the Polls, Voces de la Frontera, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, American Federation of Teachers Local 212, AFL-CIO, and SEIU Wisconsin State Council in a second lawsuit to protect vulnerable populations’ voting rights in the state’s April primary. An amended complaint ahead of the November election was filed to back up mail-in absentee voters who do not need to receive their ballot in the mail, as well suspension of the witness signature requirement for mail-in ballots (Last Updated: June 29, 2020) 

Online Signatures for Ballot Initiatives 

2020 is a pivotal year not just because of the elections for President, Congress, and state legislatures and governorships. It is also the last election year before redistricting following the Census. Reformers in numerous states planned to advance ballot initiatives for independent redistricting. COVID-19 upended all these plans. Because of social distancing requirements, stay at home orders, and safety concerns, it became impossible for reformers to use traditional signature gathering for petitions at large events or go door to door. In response, the League filed or joined several lawsuits seeking relief in the form of online signature gathering, extension of signature-gathering deadlines, and/or lowering the number of signatures needed for an initiative to be placed on the ballot.  

  • Miller, et al. v. Thurston  Due to the pandemic, voters could not safely circulate and sign petitions in person as required by Arkansas law or collect the signatures required before the legally mandated deadline. Plaintiffs Bonnie Miller, President of the Washington County, AR League, two Arkansas voters, and Arkansas Voters First, represented by the Campaign Legal Center, asked the court to suspend the signature requirements, and allow digital signatures, on the grounds that voters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were unduly burdened by the inflexible requirements. On June 15, the 8th Circuit granted a stay on the district court’s order waiving the witness requirements. (Last Updated: June 15, 2020) 

  • North Dakota Voters First v. Jaeger  - North Dakota voters have a constitutional right to amend the state constitution via ballot initiative. However, COVID-19 significantly affected the coalition’s ability to collect the required signatures. The federal district court denied the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction on June 15. (Last Updated: June 15, 2020) 

  • Fair Maps Nevada v. Cegavske, et al. - Fair Maps Nevada, the LWV Nevada’s redistricting reform campaign, sued after Nevada Secretary of State Cegavske denied their request to use online signatures for ballot initiatives. The district court judge granted Fair Maps Nevada’s request to extend the signature collection deadline but denied the plaintiffs’ request to digitally collect signatures, while indicating that the Governor could provide relief on the issue of digital signatures. (Last Updated: May 29, 2020) 

  • Arizonans for Fair Elections, et al. v. Hobbs  - LWV Arizona, represented by the ACLU and ACLU Arizona, filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs who sought access to an online signature collection process called E-Qual due to the risk posed by in-person signature collection during the pandemic. The League argued that not allowing online signatures violated Arizona voters’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to participate in direct democracy and the ballot initiative process. A three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit denied the plaintiffs’ emergency motion for injunctive relief. (Last Updated: May 5, 2020) 

  • Arizonans for Second Chances, et al. v. Hobbs - The Arizona League and three Arizona voters, represented by Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and Scharff PLLC, filed an amicus brief with the Arizona Supreme Court supporting the plaintiffs requesting the Court to allow online signatures for ballot initiative petitions and require the state to furnish an online system for doing so. The Court rejected the plaintiffs’ request to expand the usage of the online signature collection system. (Last Updated: May 13, 2020) 

Signature Mismatch and Cure Requirements for Absentee Ballots 

In response to COVID-19, states have massively expanded absentee voting. However, before the pandemic, very few states conducted vote-by-mail on such a massive scale. One of the most serious problems was signature mismatch. States allow election officials to reject ballots whose signatures do not match those on file. Without a sufficient procedure to notify voters of this error and correct them, thousands of people could be potentially disenfranchised without ever having a remedy provided to them. The League sued several states to ensure that adequate signature correction procedures would be adopted in time for the November election.  

  • League of Women Voters of New Jersey v. Way  - LWV New Jersey, NAACP New Jersey, and William Riggs, an individual NJ Voter, represented by the Campaign Legal Center, sued, requesting the court require the state to establish a proper notice and cure process to fix technical errors on absentee ballots and protect the right to safely vote by mail during pandemic conditions.   The court approved a consent decree that applied to the July 7 primary. New Jersey agreed to create a notice and cure process with statewide standards for reviewing signature matches, a 24-hour notice-of-ballot-rejection deadline, a standard cure form, and a July 23 deadline for voters curing any ballot defects. (Last Updated: June 16, 2020) 

  • Self-Advocacy Solutions v. Jaeger  - North Dakota requires signature matching on absentee ballots without providing a process for voters to “cure” missing or non-matching signatures. A lack of a notice and cure process could disenfranchise thousands of voters during the upcoming election. On June 3, the judge granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, ordering the state not to reject absentee ballots for mismatched signatures in the June 9 primary and to create a statewide notice and cure process by June 5. (Last Updated: June 3, 2020) 

Upholding the NVRA and Voter Purge Prevention

The National Voter Registration Act requires that voter roll maintenance be undertaken responsibly, and courts have interpreted the NVRA to require that list maintenance be done in a manner that is not punitive to voters. In recent years, several groups have filed numerous lawsuits in an attempt to force election officials to conduct purges of voter registrations. These purges may remove eligible but inactive voters may not be able to register again in time for the next election. The rationale for these purges is based upon unverified data and analysis conducted by various right-wing groups. Below are the cases in FY2020 where the League and its allies intervened as defendants to protect voters from these unwarranted purges.  

  • PILF v. Winfrey - The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) sued to force Detroit to purge its voter rolls. The voter purge would be based on PILF’s unverified data and non-compliant with standard NVRA practices and procedures for voter list maintenance. PILF voluntarily dismissed its own case and purge will not happen as planned. (Last Updated: June 29, 2020) 

  • PILF v. Voye et al. - LWVPA and the Allegheny County Board of Elections, LWVPA, and LWV of Greater Pittsburgh, along with One PA and A. Philip Randolph Institute Pittsburgh, represented by DEMOS and ACLU Pennsylvania, filed a motion to intervene to prevent a voter purge in Allegheny County, PA. The court approved a settlement agreement whereby PILF agreed to drop its lawsuit if the County agreed to review PILF’s data to see if it raises any issues with the voter rolls. The County maintained that it would continue to follow NVRA procedures when conducting any list maintenance. (Last Updated: March 20, 2020) 

  • Judicial Watch v. Boockvar  - The Pennsylvania League and Common Cause PA filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit launched by right-wing think tank, Judicial Watch, against Secretary Boockvar and election officials in Chester, Delaware, and Bucks counties. The motion to intervene was filed in May, and the court is expected to decide on the motion over the summer. (Last Updated: May 11, 2020) 

  • Judicial Watch v. North Carolina  - LWV NC and the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit by Judicial Watch against North Carolina election officials. Judicial Watch sought to force the state’s two largest counties to purge their voter rolls. This case is pending, and a decision is expected sometime over the summer. (Last Updated: April 22, 2020) 

  • League of Women Voters of Wisconsin v. Wisconsin Elections Commission - LWV Wisconsin and two registered Wisconsin voters filed a due process suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. The lawsuit alleged the voter purge ordered by a state court in Zignego v. Wisconsin Elections Commission would violate the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause because the letters sent by the Wisconsin Elections Commission did not provide adequate notice of what voters needed to do to remain on the rolls.   Because the Wisconsin Attorney General won on appeal, protecting the voter rolls in Ozaukee County, this case was rendered moot. (Last Updated: March 2, 2020) 

  • Indiana NAACP and LWV Indiana v. Lawson - In 2017, LWV Indiana and the Indiana NAACP, represented by the Brennan Center, sued to block enforcement of the state’s controversial voter purge law which violated the NVRA. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision, which blocked a purge that would have removed voters without notice. (Last Updated: December 16, 2019)    

  • Zignego, et al. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, et al. - LWVWI filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The lawsuit, initiated by three Milwaukee citizens backed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, sought to purge 234,000 registered voters from the voter rolls within 30 days of an Elections Commission address-check mailing—the Commission planned to give 12 to 14 months for registered voters to respond.   On February 27, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge preserved the voter rolls by reversing the Ozaukee County judge’s order. Voters were protected under the NVRA. (Last Updated: March 2, 2020) 

  • League of Women Voters of Arizona v. Reagan - Mi Familia Vota, Promise America, and the LWV Arizona sued Arizona Secretary of State Michelle Reagan for violating Section 5 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Department was requiring voters to opt-in to registration address updates, in direct violation of the NVRA. On December 16, a settlement was reached wherein Arizona’s MVD agreed to comply with the NVRA’s “opt-out” process and update voter information accordingly. (Last Updated: December 16, 2019) 

  • League of Women Voters of Missouri v. Ashcroft - LWV Missouri and the St. Louis and Greater Kansas City Chapters of APRI sued Missouri Secretary of State Ashcroft for failing to provide required voter registration services under Section 5 of the NVRA. On November 21, 2019, the court approved a settlement agreement reached between the parties. (Last Updated: December 16, 2019) 

  • Hoge v. Padilla - Represented by Demos, the ACLU, ACLU California, Common Cause, Unidos US, Mi Familia Vota, and the California League moved to intervene in a lawsuit brought by three California voters seeking to add a “proof of citizenship” requirement to the state’s voter registration process. The motion was filed in December, and a decision on the motion is expected in 2020. (Last Updated: December 18, 2019) 

  • Richardson, LWVTX et al v. Texas Secretary of State  An individual plaintiff, Dr. George Richardson, requested a mail-in ballot, his signature was rejected, and he had no opportunity to cure. The League of Texas is an organizational plaintiff along with Coalitions for Texans with Disabilities, Austin Justice Coalition, Move Texas, and American GI Forum of Texas joined to sue the secretary of state to clarify the Texas state code process to clear up ambiguous signature comparison language makes the state code unconstitutional and the absence of an ability for a voter to cure a rejected ballot based on signature match. The parties failed to reach an agreement in mediation, and the court has added this case back to its schedule. (Last Updated: March 6, 2020) 

  • League of Women Voters of Ohio v. LaRose  - LWV Ohio joined the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute and four Ohio voters in a filed in response to the Legislature passing an omnibus pandemic response bill that abruptly moved the primary election to April 28 without extending the voter registration period, created a complex absentee voting process, and eliminated in-person voting for all but a narrow set of voters. The League argued that the changes combined with the short turnaround imposed on voters and elections officials by the law violates the National Voter Registration Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for an emergency temporary restraining order, permitting the election to conclude on April 28. (Last Updated: April 6, 2020) 

Voter Registration  

  • League of Women Voters of Tennessee v. Hargett, Et Al - The Tennessee General Assembly introduced and passed a bill that imposed civil and criminal fines for third-party voter registration organizations. Governor Bill Lee signed the bill on May 3, 2019. LWVTN along with the American Muslim Advisory Council, Mid-South Peace & Justice Center, Rock the Vote, and Spread the Vote filed a federal lawsuit challenging the law arguing that the law imposes substantial penalties on groups that foster political participation via voter registration efforts. The Tennessee Legislature voluntarily revised the law, getting rid of the restrictions that the district court blocked by granting the League’s preliminary injunction. (Last Updated: April 2, 2020) 

Criminal Justice Reform 

  • Mason-Hobbs v. Texas - LWVTX drafted an amicus brief in support of Ms. Mason-Hobbs appeal after she was sentenced to five years in prison for erroneously voting in the 2016 presidential election after believing she was eligible to do so after her release from prison. A three-judge panel at the state appellate court declined to overturn Ms. Mason-Hobbs’ conviction. (Last Updated: March 20, 2020) 

  • League of Women Voters of PA and Haw v. Boockvar – LWV PA, the Pennsylvania ACLU and Lorraine Haw, a member of the Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration, challenged the validity of a legislatively proposed ballot measure called “Marsy’s Law”, which proposed 15 specific constitutional rights for victims of crime. On October 30, 2019, the judge enjoined PA’s Secretary of State from counting and certifying votes on the measure pending a ruling on the measure’s validity. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the injunction on November 4, 2019. (Last Updated: December 16, 2019) 

  • Jones v. DeSantis – The LWV Florida joined the Florida State Conference and Orange County Branch of the NAACP, and nine previously incarcerated Florida residents to sue Governor DeSantis for undermining Amendment 4, which automatically restored the voting rights of 1.4 million Floridians who completed their sentences for felony convictions. In October of 2019, the federal district court affirmed Amendment 4, ruling that the plaintiffs’ debt to the state could not prevent them from voting as the statutory requirement violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court decision but issued a stay of the order pending the State’s appeal. The Plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court to vacate the Eleventh Circuit’s stay, which the court denied. The Plaintiffs are represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ACLU, ACLU of Florida, and the Brennan Center for Justice. Oral Argument on the Eleventh Circuit’s stay of the district court decision are scheduled for August 18, 2020. (Last Updated June 19, 2020)

ERA Ratification; D.C. Voting Rights; Climate Change 

  • Virginia v. Ferriero - LWVUS joined 55 organizations on an amicus brief supporting Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois’ effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The lawsuit requests the District Court for D.C. to order National Archivist David Ferriero in his official capacity to record Virginia’s recent ratification of the ERA, the 38th state to do so, and the 3rd state—alongside Nevada and Illinois—to do so after 1982, a statutory deadline that the defendant argues is the last year a state could ratify the amendment. LWVUS joined a long list of amici to sign on to a women’s focused brief drafted by Winston & Strawn LLP. A decision is expected over the summer. (Last Updated: June 29, 2020) 

  • Castañon et al. v. United States et al. - On June 10, LWVUS and LWVDC along with civil rights groups filed an amicus brief asking the court to grant D.C. residents full representation in both the House and the Senate. The federal district court denied the plaintiffs’ claims for relief, saying while they are sympathetic, they were bound by a previous ruling written by Judge Merrick Garland. (Last Updated: March 13, 2020) 

  • Juliana et al. v. United States - LWVUS and LWVOR filed an additional amicus brief in this case in support of 21 young people who filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government, via the Eugene, Oregon- based organization, Our Children's Trust. A three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit dismissed the case on January 17. The plaintiffs filed a motion for a hearing by the full Ninth Circuit bench. The League signed on to an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs for this hearing. (Last Updated: March 2, 2020)