[Guest post by DRJ]
In a 9-5 decision, the en banc Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the trial court’s TRO in the Ohio election law case. Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog believes the ruling will have these practical results [emphasis supplied]:
“A majority of the en banc court has reinstated a TRO, which will require the Ohio Secretary of State to send along to county elections boards those names that are a “mismatch” between voter registration and Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle records. The TRO does not require, and the en banc court majority emphasizes, that a county board is not required upon hearing of the mismatch to remove eligible voters from the rolls. But the court does suggest (on page 9 of the pdf) that it would be the basis for not counting absentee ballots of voters flagged as a mismatch barring further investigation by the board. There may also be some boards that could try to require mismatched voters voting in person to cast provisional ballots. And it also appears that to the extent the mismatch lists are public, it will provide the potential basis for challenges by the ORP on election day (though I believe it is now harder to mount such challenges in Ohio than it was in 2004, when the ORP threatened to make 35,000 challenges at the polls.”
Hasen has much more at his blog, including that he expects this decision will promptly be appealed to the Supreme Court:
“Because the issue presented here in part turns on whether this TRO comes too close to the election, in violation of the Supreme Court’s admonition in Purcell v. Gonzalez, I would expect a quick application for a stay of the en banc order directed to Justice Stevens, as Circuit Justice for the Sixth Circuit.”
In other words, stay tuned.