This database consolidates and tracks litigation concerning the effect of the pandemic on election law. The purpose of this tool is to provide an interactive list of relevant cases that can be searched by issue, court, status, and jurisdiction.
Donald J. Trump for President v. Murphy
Donald J. Trump for President v. Murphy, No. 3:20-cv-10753 (D.N.J.)
|Case Summary||New Jersey Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 177 mandating that November 3 elections will be all-mail, that all active voters will automatically receive mail-in ballots, that ballots postmarked on or before elections day will be counted even if received after election day, and that all in-person ballots will be cast as provisional ballots. Plaintiffs allege that, under both the Elections and Electors Clauses of the U.S. Consitution, the Governor lacks authority to order these changes. Plaintiff also argues that expanding mail-in voting in New Jersey, which has a history of voter fraud, dilutes the value of legitimate votes. The order also alllegedly violates federal law by potentially allowing votes cast after election day to be counted.Finally, the order allegedly violates in-person voters' rights to vote safely and efficiently and thus violates the Equal Protection Clause. Plaintiffs seek injunctions against implementation of the order.|
|Type of Court||Federal|
|Issue Tag(s)||Vote-by-Mail (Other Vote-by-Mail Issue, Claim that Mail Voting Leads to Fraud and/or Vote Dilution)
In-Person Voting COVID Concern (Other In-Person Voting Issue)
Authority To Act (Other, Elections Clause)
Executive order violated Electors Clause of U.S. Constitution when executive set aside legislatively enacted election laws. Executive order violated federal statutes requiring that votes only be counted when cast on or before election day.
Executive order violated equal protection clause by mandating that all in-person voters cast provisional ballots
|Complaint(s)||08/18/2020: Complaint filed.|
|09/11/2020: Complaint, Amended complaint seeks injunction of state statute—A4475—which requires county boards of election to establish ballot drop boxes in each county at least 45 days before election and revises procedures concerning mail-in ballots for 2020 general election. filed.|
|Dispositive Ruling(s)||10/06/2020: Order/Ruling, The court found it unlikely that the plainitffs would succeed on the merits of their claim and denied a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of New Jersey election law. The court found that federal election law do not preempt the challenged regulation, and permitted New Jersey (1) to canvas before election day, as long as the election is not consumated before election day, and (2) to determine the timeliness of ballots, as long as New Jersey's practices do not create an appreciable risk of canvassing untimely ballots.|
|10/22/2020: Order/Ruling, Plaintiffs contended that New Jersey statute A4475, which expanded vote-by-mail, is unlawful. The court held that plaintiffs lack standing. With respect to injury, the court found plaintiffs' allegations of vote dilution and equal protection harms to be too speculative. Complaint dismissed.|