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Republican National Committee v. Common Cause Rhode Island

Application for stay denied on August 13, 2020. Justices Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch would grant the application.
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
20A28 1st Cir. N/A N/A N/A N/A OT 2020

Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should stay an order by a federal district court relaxing Rhode Island's requirement that voters sign absentee ballots in the presence of either two witnesses or one notary in advance of the state's September election.

DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding)
Aug 10 2020Application (20A28) for a stay, submitted to Justice Breyer.
Aug 10 2020Response to application (20A28) requested by Justice Breyer, due Tuesday, August 11, 2020, by 5 p.m. ET.
Aug 11 2020Response to application from respondents Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island Secretary of State, et al. filed.
Aug 11 2020Response to application from respondents Common Cause Rhode Island, et al. filed.
Aug 12 2020Reply of applicants Republican National Committee, et al. filed.
Aug 13 2020Application (20A28) referred to the Court.
Aug 13 2020Application (20A28) denied by the Court. The application for stay presented to Justice Breyer and by him referred to the Court is denied. Unlike Merrill v. People First of Alabama, 591 U. S. ___ (2020), and other similar cases where a State defends its own law, here the state election officials support the challenged decree, and no state official has expressed opposition. Under these circumstances, the applicants lack a cognizable interest in the State’s ability to “enforce its duly enacted” laws. Abbott v. Perez, 585 U. S. ___, ___ n. 17 (2018). The status quo is one in which the challenged requirement has not been in effect, given the rules used in Rhode Island’s last election, and many Rhode Island voters may well hold that belief. Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Gorsuch would grant the application.