Supreme Court allows Ohio, other state voter purges

Latest News

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can clean up their voting rolls by targeting people who haven't cast ballots in a while.

The justices rejected, by a 5-4 vote Monday, arguments in a case from Ohio that the practice violates a federal law intended to increase the ranks of registered voters. A handful of other states also use voters' inactivity to trigger a process that could lead to their removal from the voting rolls.

Justice Samuel Alito said for the court that Ohio is complying with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. He was joined by his four conservative colleagues. The four liberal justices dissented.

Partisan fights over ballot access are being fought across the country. Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to suppress votes from minorities and poorer people who tend to vote for Democrats. Republicans have argued that they are trying to promote ballot integrity and prevent voter fraud.

Under Ohio rules, registered voters who fail to vote in a two-year period are targeted for eventual removal from registration rolls, even if they haven't moved and remain eligible. The state said it only uses the disputed process after first comparing its voter lists with a U.S. postal service list of people who have reported a change of address. But not everyone who moves notifies the post office, the state said.

So the state asks people who haven't voted in two years to confirm their eligibility. If they do, or if they show up to vote over the next four years, voters remain registered. If they do nothing, their names eventually fall off the list of registered voters.

"Combined with the two years of nonvoting before notice is sent, that makes a total of six years of nonvoting before removal," Alito wrote.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing in dissent, said the 1993 law prohibits removing someone from the voting rolls "by reason of the person's failure to vote. In my view, Ohio's program does just that."

In a separate dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Congress enacted the voter registration law "against the backdrop of substantial efforts by states to disenfranchise low-income and minority voters." The court's decision essentially endorses "the very purging that Congress expressly sought to protect against," Sotomayor wrote.

Related listings

  •  Netanyahu heads to court as 1st sitting Israeli PM on trial

    Netanyahu heads to court as 1st sitting Israeli PM on trial

    Latest News 05/21/2020

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lashing out at Israel’s justice system, saying his trial on corruption charges is an attempt to “depose” him. Prime Minister Benjamin spoke Sunday as he arrived at a Jerusalem courthouse ...

  • Louisiana Senate targets lawyer ads promising big payouts

    Louisiana Senate targets lawyer ads promising big payouts

    Latest News 05/15/2020

    A proposal striking at the proliferation of TV, radio and billboard ads blanketing Louisiana is headed to the state House for debate after winning support from senators Thursday.Sen. Heather Cloud’s bill would declare as false or misleading tho...

  • Arkansas candidate's political ties targeted in court race

    Arkansas candidate's political ties targeted in court race

    Latest News 02/22/2020

    The race for a seat on the Arkansas Supreme Court is technically nonpartisan, but the close ties of one of the two main candidates to the state Republican Party — she's married to its leader — highlight just how partisan such campaigns ha...

Grounds for Divorce in Ohio - Sylkatis Law, LLC

A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
• Fraudulent contract
• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
• Procurement of a divorce outside this state by the other party

Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.