December 23, 2008
Liptak on Bush v. Gore
But now, as the petitioner leaves the national stage, Bush v. Gore is turning out to have lasting value after all. "You're starting to see courts invoke it," said Samuel Issacharoff, a law professor at New York University, "and you're starting to see briefs cite it."
For example, reports Liptak, the Sixth Circuit just last month cited the case several times in a unanimous opinion upholding the lower court's denial of defendants' motion to dismiss a case challenging Ohio's touchscreen voting machines under the Equal Protection Clause and substantive due process.
The full opinion is here; here's a bit of what the court pulled from Bush v. Gore:
The right to vote is protected in more than the initial allocation of the franchise. Equal protection applies as well to the manner of its exercise. Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person's vote over that of another. It must be remembered that the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen's vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise.
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