The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Party of Florida secured a victory for election integrity by reaching a settlement in Nielsen v. DeSantis on Sunday. Earlier this year, plaintiffs sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to radically alter Florida's absentee ballot laws to allow ballot harvesting and require absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day to be counted. As part of the settlement agreement, plaintiffs dropped all substantive claims in the suit.Read more
On Monday morning, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s legal team led by Sidney Powell filed a scathing brief in opposition to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc filed in response to the D.C. Circuit’s decision in June ordering Judge Sullivan to dismiss the charges against Flynn. The brief illustrates Judge Sullivan’s mishandling of Flynn’s case following the Department of Justice’s decision to no longer pursue charges after discovery of new evidence.Read more
The DC Board of Elections held a special meeting today to allow for public comment regarding its plan to mail ballots to every voter and to have only 40 polling locations open throughout DC for the November election – over 100 fewer polling locations than it usually has during an election. The RNLA submitted a comment in opposition to the Board's plan due to its potential to disenfranchise voters.Read more
One of the hallmarks of the Trump Administration has been placing judges on the federal bench. As of June, President Trump had his 200th federal judicial nominee confirmed by the Senate. Notably President Trump has appointed two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. One of the most lasting effects of these appointments has been the strengthening of religious liberty which has been under attack over the past several decades. In this past year’s term alone, the Court handed down 3 major victories for religious liberty in Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, and Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania.Read more
While only Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Utah currently conduct all of their elections by mail, Democrats have ramped up their efforts recently to push for universal vote-by-mail for November’s Presidential Election. However, a nationwide universal vote-by-mail system would be extremely detrimental to the integrity of our elections. The presence of “out-of-date voter rolls, undue influence over voters, foreign interference through counterfeit ballots, [and] ballot harvesting through unscrupulous parties” would weaken an already susceptible form of voting.Read more
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who choose to vote by mail. For instance, North Carolina election officials expect 10 times the usual number of voters to cast their ballots by mail.
Absentee voting is an important option to protect the right to vote for those who are sick or afraid to vote in person due to COVID-19. However, voting by mail is not only more susceptible to fraud but threatens to disenfranchise voters who never receive their ballots or inadvertently complete their ballot incorrectly.Read more
RNLA Honors Brenda M. Hankins with the
Betty Murphy Award
The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) is pleased to announce Brenda M. Hankins as the recipient of the 2020 Betty Murphy Award, which was presented at the National Election Law Seminar on July 11 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Hankins was selected for the Betty Murphy Award as she is an unsung hero, trailblazer, community service leader, and an organization builder who inspires others’ spirits.Read more
This morning, the Supreme Court dropped its much-anticipated opinion on faithless electors in Chiafalo v. Washington, which was consolidated with Colorado Department of State v. Baca. Ruling unanimously, the Court held that a state may enforce an elector’s pledge to support their party’s nominee – and the state voters’ choice – for president in the Electoral College.
For many, the Court’s opinion puts to rest the argument that electors have the freedom to depart from the will of the voters to instead cast their vote as they please; however, the Court’s decision leaves open two methods by which electors can remain faithless – (1) when the state has no law in place to compel faithfulness, and (2) when the penalty is a monetary fine that the elector can pay in exchange for his unfaithfulness.Read more
Today, the Supreme Court held in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that, under the Free Exercise Clause, if a state has a program giving public dollars to citizens to use at private schools, it cannot tell those citizens that the money can only be used at non-religious private schools. Montana had decided that its scholarship program funds could not be used at religious schools under the state's Blaine Amendment, a legacy of a failed anti-Catholic amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many First Amendment advocates hope this opinion proves to be a fatal blow to the discriminatory anti-religious Blaine Amendments still found in many state constitutions.Read more