MONTANA - A ruling by the 9th Circuit Court, Tuesday, denying an emergency injunction to block Montana election offices from mailing ballots to voters October 9th is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorney's for Joe Lamm, Ravalli County Republican Central Committee, Jeff Wagner, Sylvia Wagner, Fiona Nave, and Brent Nave filed the appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court shortly after the 9th Circuit Court's decision.
The filing is for an emergency application for writ of injunction relief no later than Thursday, October 8, 2020.
The filing explains that the District Court upheld the Governor’s August 6th directive allowing counties to conduct mail-in elections and the Secretary of State’s approval of “mail ballot” plans. It states that Judge Dana Christensen held that Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1(2006), barred an injunction to redress any violations of constitutional rights caused by the Governor’s and Secretary’s actions.
The filing also asks the Supreme Court to answer the following questions:
I. Do the doctrines designed to protect long-standing Legislatively adopted election laws, the Purcell principle, also protect an “eve of an election” substantial change in election laws by state officials, contrary to that prescribed by the Legislature?
II. Does the Directive violate the Elections Clause, U.S. const., art. I, § 4, cl. 2,by displacing the “Manner” prescribed by the Legislature?
III. Does the Directive violate the right to vote by creating a substantial risk of vote-dilution disenfranchisement by allowing mail ballots that the Legislature deemed dangerous to election integrity in its expert balancing of election access and integrity concerns?
IV. Does the Directive violate the right to vote by creating a substantial risk of direct disenfranchisement by the sudden flood of mail ballots that the Legislature deemed dangerous to election integrity in its expert balancing of election access and integrity concerns?
V. Does the Directive violate the one-person-one-vote, equal-protection rights,under the Fourteenth Amendment, of voters in counties not choosing “mail ballot” elections?
A ruling by the Supreme Court could result in county election offices holding mail-in ballots and only sending ballots to people who are registered to vote as an absentee. If the Supreme Court declines to act, mail-in ballots will be sent to all registered voters in the counties that opted to take advantage of Governor Bullock's august 6th directive.