U.S. Court of Appeals Rules on Emergency Motion in APRI v. Husted

U.S. Court of Appeals Rules on Emergency Motion in APRI v. Husted

October 31, 2018
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Conclusion
In the final analysis, this Court holds that all four factors weigh for Plaintiffs on their first form of relief sought, the implementation of the APRI Exception. Plaintiffs have a reasonable, and perhaps even greater, likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that Defendant’s confirmation notice did not adequately advise registrants of the consequences of failure to respond, as the NVRA requires. And the equitable factors weigh heavily in favor of granting the injunction. Plaintiffs aptly quote this Court’s statement that where “the only harm that [a nonmovant] assert[s] is an administrative burden that [he] admit[s] to be manageable” and there is also the “possibility that qualified voters may be turned away at the polls,” the balancing of the equities favors granting the injunction. (Plaintiffs’ Reply at 6 (quoting U.S. Student Ass’n Found. v. Land, 546 F.3d 373, 387 (6th Cir. 2008).) Thus, this Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion insofar as it seeks to require Defendant to issue a directive to Ohio’s county boards of elections instructing them comply with the APRI Exception procedures in the November 6, 2018 Federal Election.

With respect to Plaintiffs’ other request for relief sought—an injunction that Ohio not delete any voters from the rolls under the Supplemental Process if the confirmation notice was sent prior to August 2016—the irreparability of the harm to Plaintiffs is not sufficiently strong to grant Plaintiffs this relief. This request for relief does not affect the upcoming election scheduled for November 6, 2018; and this issue can be addressed by the courts following the November 6, 2018 election. Though removal of voters from the rolls is certainly a great harm, it is not the kind of imminent, irreparable harm (like failure to record provisional ballots) that justifies relief under an emergency motion like this. We emphasize that today’s order holds only that this Court does not grant this relief pending appeal. When we hear that appeal, this Court will have occasion to consider again whether this relief is justified—but we decline to grant this relief before full presentation of the issue on appeal. Thus, this Court DENIES Plaintiffs’ motion insofar as it seeks to require Defendant not to remove any voter under the Supplemental Process if the confirmation notice was sent prior to August 2016.

Accordingly, the emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

 

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