Ian Millhiser, the extremely knowledgeable Supreme Court observer/analyst at the Center for American Progress, has some advice for the lawyers representing Gov. Pat McCrory and the other defenders of the state’s voter suppression law that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a couple of weeks ago. This is from his new post: “Is North Carolina Trying To Lose One Of The Biggest Voting Rights Cases In The Nation? They aren’t good at this”:
“Here’s some free advice to young lawyers just starting our their careers: if your client loses a case, and you want the Supreme Court to review it, you might want to actually bring the case to the justices’ attention.
The state of North Carolina appears not to have learned this lesson.”
Millhiser goes on to explain how the state has yet to actually seek a stay of the Fourth Circuit ruling from the Supreme Court, 17 days after the decision:
“So we’re now 17 days out from the appeals court’s decision striking down much of the voter suppression law, and the state still hasn’t sought a stay from the Supreme Court. That, alone, is an ill-advised practice for lawyers in this and similar cases. The entire point of a stay is that a party believes that a lower court’s order is so untenable that it cannot remain in effect until after it has been reviewed by a higher authority. It’s tough to make that claim when you can’t even be bothered to file your stay request in a timely manner.
This principle is especially true in a voting rights case. At least before conservatives lost their majority on the Supreme Court, the justices were reluctant to disturb a state’s election law as an election drew nigh.
…The state’s delay, moreover, is only the latest blunder by a state that, at times, has seemed to be trying to lose a court challenge to its voter suppression law….
It’s as if these lawmakers were trying to get caught. Read more