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Splitting 5-4, Supreme Court Grants Alabama’s Request to Restore Voting Restrictions

  • July 03, 2020

WASHINGTON — By a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a trial judge’s order that would have made it easier for voters in three Alabama counties to use absentee ballots in this month’s primary runoff election.

The court’s brief, unsigned order gave no reasons, which is typical when it rules on emergency applications, and it said the order would remain in effect while appeals moved forward.

The court’s four more liberal members — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — said they would have rejected Alabama’s request.

In March, Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, postponed the election in light of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the official who oversees the state’s elections, John H. Merrill, Alabama’s secretary of state, a Republican, expanded the availability of absentee ballots to all voters who concluded that it was “impossible or unreasonable to vote at their voting place.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/us/supreme-court-alabama-voting-restrictions.html

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