The nation’s highest court on Monday granted an emergency plea from state officials to block a lower court’s order expanding statewide early voting days and times. The last-minute decision means early voting will not start Tuesday, but instead will be delayed one week. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse or delay the district court order restoring Golden Week, a week-long window when people could both register to vote and cast a ballot in Ohio, forcing Husted to add more early voting hours to the statewide schedule and allowing county boards of election to set additional hours. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who oversees the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals where the case was appealed, referred the case to the full court, which voted 5-4 to grant the stay. The court issued its order without an opinion or explanation, noting the court’s liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Kagan would not have granted the stay. Justices Samuel Alito, John G. Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy voted to grant the stay.
The stay will remain in effect until the court acts on an appeal from state officials, which has not yet been filed. In addition to delaying the start of early voting, the order leaves in limbo expanded days and hours — voting on the Saturday and Sunday two weeks before Election Day and from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays during the two weeks prior to Election Day.
In their final court filing on Sunday, Husted and DeWine argued the Sept. 4 order by District Court Judge Peter C. Economus was a last-minute disruption to a schedule that’s been in place since February.
“It is unfair to claim that this disruptive September injunction (which Ohio has sought to overturn at every turn) represents a new status quo—to be locked down the morning after it issued,” attorneys for Husted and DeWine wrote. “As a matter of history, Plaintiffs mistakenly suggest that their court-ordered change to Ohio’s early-voting schedule long existed in Ohio. The change cherry-picks, at most, a few counties’ schedules from 2008 and 2010.”
Full Article: Supreme Court blocks early voting in Ohio | cleveland.com.