Sixth Circuit Rejects Claim Covid-19 Requires Easing of Ballot Initiative Rules
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a challenge to Ohio’s laws governing the placement of initiatives on the ballot. The plaintiffs argued that the relevant ballot access provisions imposed an unconstitutional burden in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The panel, consisting of Judges Sutton, McKeague and Nalbandian, disagreed.
The court’s per curiam opinion in Thompson v. Dewine summarizes the case:
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life in many ways. In response to the unfolding public health crisis, states across the country imposed various orders in hopes of containing the virus. Ohio, for its part, asked its citizens to stay at home and restricted the size of gatherings.
This case, which we’ve seen before, involves the intersection of COVID-19, the state’s responses to that pandemic, and some of Ohio’s conditions that must be met before a ballot initiative can get on the ballot for Election Day. See Thompson v. DeWine, 959 F.3d 804, 806 (6th Cir.) (per curiam), mot. to vacate stay denied,—S. Ct. —-, No. 19A1054
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