Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—September 10

Former president Donald Trump speaks at the “Rally to Protect Our Elections” hosted by Turning Point Action in Phoenix, Ariz., July 24, 2021. (Gage Skidmore)

2020—In New York v. Trump, a three-judge district court enjoins the Secretary of Commerce from complying with a presidential directive to include in census data a state-by-state tabulation of the number of aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.

 In a 6-to-3 vote three months later, the Supreme Court will vacate the district court’s order: the  case “is riddled with contingencies and speculation that impede judicial review,” and “the standing and ripeness inquiries both lead to the conclusion that judicial resolution of this dispute is premature.”

2020—Less than two months before the upcoming presidential election, federal district judge Douglas Rayes (in Arizona Democratic Party v. Hobbs) enjoins Arizona’s law that requires early voters to have signed their ballots by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day in order to have their votes counted. Rayes orders Arizona to institute a new procedure that would give voters up to five days after voting has ended to sign their ballots.

Four weeks later, a unanimous Ninth Circuit panel (with a majority of Democratic appointees) will block Rayes’s injunction from continuing in effect pending appeal.

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