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State and Local Government Law

2021

Journal

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Suffrage

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Undue Deference To States In The 2020 Election Litigation, Joshua A. Douglas Oct 2021

Undue Deference To States In The 2020 Election Litigation, Joshua A. Douglas

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on so much of our lives, including how to run our elections. Yet the federal courts have refused to respond appropriately to the dilemma that many voters faced when trying to participate in the 2020 election. Instead, the courts—particularly the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts—invoked a narrow test that unduly defers to state election administration and fails to protect adequately the fundamental right to vote.

In constitutional litigation, a law usually must satisfy a two-part test: (1) does the state have an appropriate reason for the law and (2) is the law properly …