It is one of the first election-related cases to be ruled by the Supreme Court since the primaries, and it could indicate that judges are curbing the lower courts as they try to change the rules of an election, even if doing so increases access to voting to be the coronavirus pandemic.
The Supreme Court “has repeatedly insisted that federal courts should not normally change state electoral rules in the run-up to an election,” wrote Kavanaugh, citing the so-called “Purcell Principle,” in which the Arizona Supreme Court reintroduced Voter ID Law was knocked down by an appeals court before halfway through 2006. (No other judges have publicly committed to Kavanuagh’s reasoning.)
Kavanaugh also pointed out that federal courts should defer government of a state to “maintain or change electoral rules to tackle COVID-19”.
“This is a strong signal that the Supreme Court will be cautious about the federal court ordering changes near the elections, including those that are being made to cope with the burdens placed on voters by the pandemic (such as the need To get witness signatures), “said Rick Hasen, a noted electoral law expert at the University of California-Irvine, wrote about the verdict. Hasen noted his support for the state not re-establishing the witness signature requirement and cited potential voter confusion.
While not a president’s battlefield state, South Carolina is home to a surprisingly competitive Senate race between incumbent GOP Senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat Jaime Harrison that has garnered intense national attention in recent weeks. The parties are also arguing over one of the state’s congressional districts, currently held by the newly minted Democratic MP Joe Cunningham.
The original case was brought by the state-run Democratic Party, the National Democratic Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.