Articles Posted in Election Law

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Plaintiff initiated this lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the “Tennessee Plan,” which governs the way in which judges of the Tennessee appellate courts are initially selected and thereafter stand for election. The court of appeals upheld as constitutional the Judicial Nominating Commission/gubernatorial appointment under the Tennessee Plan, the retention election portion of the Tennessee Plan, and the election of the Tennessee intermediate appellate court judges on a statewide basis. The Special Supreme Court vacated in part and affirmed in part the judgment of the court of appeals, holding (1) the issue of the constitutional validity of the Judicial Nominating Commission/gubernatorial appointment process under the Tennessee Plan was moot because by the time the Court heard oral argument, the judicial nominating commission portions of the Tennessee Plan were no longer in effect; (2) the retention election portion of the Tennessee Plan satisfies the constitutional requirement that the judges of the appellate courts be elected by the qualified voters of the State; and (3) the election of judges to the court of appeals and court of criminal appeals on a statewide basis does not violate the state Constitution. View "Hooker v. Haslam" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was a law providing that citizens who appear in person to vote must present photographic proof of their identity. The statute authorized a photographic identification card issued by the State as a valid form of identification. Plaintiffs were two residents who attempted to vote in the primary election using photographic identification cards issued by the City of Memphis Public Library. The residents and City filed a declaratory judgment action arguing (1) the photographic identification requirement violated constitutional protections, and (2) the City qualified as an entity of the State authorized to issue valid photographic identification cards through its public library. The trial court denied relief. The court of appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the photographic identification requirement did not violate constitutional principles, and (2) the photographic identification cards issued by the library complied with the statute for voting purposes. On appeal, the Supreme Court held (1) the issue pertaining to the library cards as photographic identification was moot because a change in the law precluded the use of photographic identification cards issued by municipalities or their libraries for voting purposes; and (2) the photographic identification requirement met constitutional scrutiny. View "City of Memphis v. Hargett" on Justia Law