Study: In 80% Of Rulings, GOP-Appointed Judges Have Made It Harder To Vote
According to The New York Times, a new study examining election-related cases this year has found that jurists appointed by Republicans rule in a manner that makes voting more difficult compared to jurists appointed by Democrats.
The study, the “Anti-Democracy Scorecard,” was commissioned by the group Take Back the Court, which supports expanding the judiciary. It identified 309 votes by judges and justices in 175 election-related decisions and found a partisan pattern: Republican appointees interpreted the law in a way that impeded ballot access 80 percent of the time, versus 37 percent for Democratic ones.
The numbers were even more stark when limited to judges appointed by President Trump, who has had tremendous success at rapidly reshaping the judiciary. Of 60 rulings in election-related cases, 85 percent were “anti-democracy” according to the analysis.
- Aaron Belkin, a political-science professor and the director of Take Back the Court, told The Times: “There is a systematic pattern of Republican-appointed judges and justices tipping the scales in favor of the G.O.P. by making voting harder.”
- However, Edward Whelan, president of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, expressed doubt over the value of such a study, telling the newspaper: “The idea that you are going to come up with feeble statistical evidence of judges acting partially, and you are going to use this as a reason to pack the court — to ensure that the Supreme Court acts partially in the direction you want — strikes me as weak.”
- The Times said Whelan noted "that many of the cases this year come from the aberrational circumstances of the pandemic — litigants are trying to get judges to relax local restrictions in light of the need for social distancing" and "argued that showing deference to established rules does not necessarily mean hostility to voting."