Following a weekend of legal maneuvering, a federal judge has sent two lawsuits challenging the state’s controversial new Republican-backed law tightening voter registration requirements back to the state Superior Court, where the claims were initially filed. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph LaPlante came after attorneys for the New Hampshire Democratic Party and League of Women Voters amended their separate, but almost identical, complaints to remove allegations that the new law violates provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Instead, attorneys for the Democrats and the League said, they have now focused their suits on alleged violations of the New Hampshire Constitution in the law formerly known as Senate Bill 3.
The move by the plaintiffs came after the state attorney general’s office on Thursday moved the case from the state court to the U.S. District Court, citing the federal claims in the suit.
“Upon review, we determined that the claims under federal law were duplicative of the claims arising in state law,” attorney William Christie, representing the state Democratic Party, told WMUR Tuesday afternoon.
“Our main claims were those state claims, and we believe that these issues that are focused on the New Hampshire Constitution should be determined by a state court.”