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Table of Contents:
Co-author, The USERRA Manual (Thompson West, annual editions since 2008) (with Kathryn Piscitelli)
Co-author, "Job Rights of Employees who Serve in the Military: USERRA Rights and Obligations," ATLA Docket (Ark. Trial Lawyers Ass'n), Spring 2008 (with Mary Dryovage and Kathryn S. Piscitelli) [This article has been published in two AAJ newsletters -- Employment Rights Section and Federal Tort and Military Advocacy Section]
Author, “Voting Rights Act of 1965,” “Right to Vote,” “Reynolds v. Sims,” in Encyclopedia of American Law (D. Schultz, ed.) (2002)
Author, “A Simple Agenda for Election Reform,” 50 The National Voter (2001)
Co-author, “Is There a Constitutional Right to Vote and Be Represented? The Case of the District of Columbia,” 48 Am. U. L. Rev. (1999) (edited transcript of conference session)
Co-author, “Alternative Electoral Systems as Voting Rights Remedies,” 18 FEC Journal of Election Administration (1997)
Co-author, “One Person, Seven Votes: The Cumulative Voting Experience in Chilton County, Alabama,” in Affirmative Action and Representation: Shaw v. Reno and the Future of Voting Rights (1997)
Co-author, “Alternative Voting: How it Works,” Voting Rights Review (Spring 1995) [HTML]
Co-author, “Cumulative Voting as a Remedy in Voting Rights Cases,” 84 National Civic Review (1995)
Author, “Alabama,” in The Quiet Revolution: The Impact of the Voting Rights Act in the South, 1965-1990 (1994)
Author, “Symposium: The Supreme Court, Racial Politics, and the Right to Vote: Shaw v. Reno and the Future of the Voting Rights Act,” 44 Am. U. L. Rev. (1994) (edited transcript of conference)
Author, “Cumulative and Limited Voting in Alabama,” in United States Electoral Systems: Their Impact on Minorities and Women (1992)
Author, “The Hunting of the Gerrymander”, 38 UCLA L. Rev. (1991) (review of Political Gerrymandering and the Courts)
Author, “Voluntary Constituencies: Modified At-Large Voting As A Remedy For Minority Vote Dilution In Judicial Elections,” 9 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. (1991)
Author, “Alternatives to Single-Member Districts,” in Davidson and Grofman, eds., Minority Vote Dilution (1984)
Author, "Election Reform Bill Will Add Uniformity to U.S. Voting System," op-ed piece in Birmingham News, 20 October 2002
Author, "State must consider what-ifs in revising election laws," op-ed piece in Birmingham News, 17 November 2002
"The Unwise and Unconstitutional Hatch Act"
Jason Miller has written an article on one of the worst "gotchas" in election law -- the Hatch Act's application to state and local government employees. Here is the abstract of his article:
Every year, state and local government employees announce their intent to run for public office only to be told that an obscure Great Depression-era law requires that they choose between their job and their campaign. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from running for partisan office and similarly prohibits any state and local employee from running if their position receives any federal funds. This prohibition applies even when there is no apparent conflict of interest or abuse of power. Given the number of federal employees, and the number of federal grants to state and local governments, millions of covered employees are effectively prohibited from running for public office. At the same time, many elections in this country go uncontested and communities suffer from a lack of quality candidates.
The Unwise and Unconstitutional Hatch Act focuses on the federal law’s coverage of state and local employees and examines whether the Act would pass constitutional muster under modern tests, whether the Hatch Act is desirable as a matter of policy, and what alternatives could achieve the policy goals of the Act without an absolute prohibition on candidacy for partisan office.
Download the entire article at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1444192.
Wolff v. Fluker contest, first two days
The Mobile Press-Register has an article in the 24 Dec. 2008 edition concerning the first two days of hearings in the election contest brought by Pete Wolff III against incumbent Evergreen Mayor Larry Fluker. You may view the article here. I represent Mayor Fluker in this action.
New Jersey newspaper quotes Ed Still on Hatch Act's effect
The Asbury Park Press reports: New fundraising restrictions on Monmouth County GOP Chairman Adam Puharic have led prominent Republicans to question whether Puharic can continue leading the party. ...
Puharic said his duties as GOP chairman have been altered because of his new job as a federal employee. Puharic began work last week as a public affairs officer at the Newark office of the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. His salary is $91,700.
Because of the federal Hatch Act — which spells out permitted and prohibited political activity of executive branch em-ployees of the federal government — Puharic said he is no longer directly participating in fundraising for the party. ...
The new arrangement could be problematic for Puharic, according to Edward Still, an Alabama elections attorney who maintains a Web site and blog called Votelaw.
"This will mean that if he even signs a fundraising letter or puts his name on fundraising material, that can be considered soliciting under the Hatch Act," Still said. "There's going to be a whole range of things he can't do. He's sort of going to become half a chairman." -- APP.COM - GOP split on whether chairman should resign | Asbury Park Press Online
Still quoted on proposed Connecticut election law
The Hartford (CT) Courant reported recently in "Ballot Controls Proposed For Candidates":
The secretary of the state is proposing a change that would force candidates to petition their way onto the November ballot weeks before a party primary.
The move would allow voters to know upfront that candidates who lose a primary collected enough signatures to be on the ballot on Election Day.
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said she is making the proposal after U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman collected signatures and formed his own party last summer after it looked likely he could lose the Democratic primary to Greenwich cable entrepreneur Ned Lamont. In the fall election, Lieberman ran as petition candidate and won. ...
Bysiewicz's proposal does not go as far as the "sore-loser" laws, found in more than 40 states, that force candidates to make a choice - either run in a primary or petition their way onto the ballot. ...
Edward Still, an Alabama elections attorney who maintains a Web site and blog called Votelaw, said that if Bysiewicz's new deadline passes, party leaders could establish their own rules preventing primary candidates from running simultaneously as petition candidates.
"That would prevent anybody from having two different choices (and) actually give the change in law some teeth," Still said.
Race and Election Reform, June 2001, 12 pages, [PDF]
A summary of the Voting Rights Act, 4 pages, [Word format]
Bailout under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, 5 pages, [PDF]
Federal Restrictions on State and Local Campaigns, Political Groups and Individuals, December 2002, 27 pages [PDF]
Candidate Compliance with the Alabama Fair Campaign Practices Act, February 2003, 4 pages [PDF]
Free and Fair Elections: A Quick Comparison on Election Administration in Florida and Bosnia, 17 pages, conference paper, early 2002, [PDF]
My Cases: Election Contests and Pre-election Challenges
In re the Contest of Mattie Childress, before the State Democratic Executive Committee (2006) – represented Patricia Todd in her successful defense of a victory at the polls; Childress claimed that Todd had violated an SDEC rule that had been applied to no one since 1988
Wells v. Ellis, 551 So.2d 382 (Ala 1989) -- successfully defended election contest; appeal turned on issue of proper absentee ballots
Turner v. Poland, 544 So.2d 931 (Ala 1989) -- successfully prosecuted election contest and defended it on appeal
Harris v. Weatherford, 459 So.2d 876 (Ala 1984) -- successfully represented parties seeking to keep candidate off the ballot for failure to qualify properly
Godfrey v. Oswalt, 428 So.2d 40 (Ala 1983) -- election contest, represented amicus curiae in support of eventually successful candidate
Bostwick v. Harris, 421 So.2d 492 (Ala 1982) -- successfully represented parties seeking to keep candidate off the ballot for failure to qualify properly
In re the Contest of William J. Baxley, before the State Democratic Executive Committee, August 1986 -- one of two lead attorneys for successful contestant of gubernatorial primary election based on illegal votes received by putative winner from Republican crossover voters
Ex parte Baxley, 494 So.2d 30 (Ala 1986) -- action defending subpoena power of the State Democratic Executive Committee in an election contest
Ex parte Baxley, 496 So.2d 688 (Ala 1986) -- mandamus action resulting in ruling clarifying right of State Democratic Executive Committee to hear contest of Baxley
Ex parte Graddick, 495 So.2d 1367 (Ala 1986) -- successfully defended action by loser of contest attacking type of evidence heard by the State Executive Committee
Curry v. Baker, 802 F.2d 1302 (11th Cir. 1986), stay denied 479 US ___, 93 L.Ed.2d 1 (1986) (Powell, J., in chambers) -- another action by contest loser attacking the evidence heard by the State Democratic Executive Committee on the grounds of denial of due process
Knight v. Gray, 420 So.2d 247 (Ala 1982) -- political party has authority to hear pre-primary challenges to its candidates' qualifications and may interpret state constitutional requirements for its candidates in any reasonable way
Gartrell v. Knight, 546 F.Supp. 449 (N.D. Ala. 1982) -- defense of Democratic Party candidate loyalty rule (case later dismissed as moot)
White v. Knight, 424 So.2d 566 (Ala 1982) -- three-year residency requirement for State Legislature candidates is constitutional and requires three years of continuous residence before election
Election contest: Hendricks v. Todd, House District 54
I am now representing Patricia Todd in an election contest before a committee of the Alabama Democratic Party.
In the recent Democratic primary runoff in House District 54, Patricia Todd won by 59 votes over Gaynell Hendricks. Ms. Hendricks (through her mother-in-law) filed a contest with the Democratic Party alleging several grounds. Ms. Todd hired me to represent her, and I filed an answer. The hearing is set for 15 August. I will have more to say about the case after the hearing is concluded.
A recent article by Kyle Whitmire in the Birmingham Weekly recounts the background of the election contest. The Birmingham News has also carried articles on the case. I have excerpted from the articles on my Votelaw blog here, here, and here.
My Cases: Other Election and Voting Rights Cases
Underwood v. Hunter, 604 F.2d 367 (5th Cir. 1979), 622 F.2d 1042 (5th Cir. 1980), 730 F.2d 614 (11th Cir. 1984), aff'd 471 U.S. 222 (1985) -- successful challenge of Alabama constitutional provision barring certain misdemeanants from voting
Holt Civic Club v. City of Tuscaloosa, 525 F.2d 653 (5th Cir. 1975); 439 U.S. 60 (1978) -- challenge to police jurisdiction statutes
Kiel v. Purvis, 510 So.2d 190 (Ala 1987) -- successful attack on local law restricting campaigning on election day
Vintson v. Anton, 786 F.2d 1023 (11th Cir. 1986) -- successfully defended Democratic Party in Republican Party challenge to method of appointment of polling officials in Walker County
Phillips v. Beasley, 78 F.R.D. 207 (N.D. Ala. 1978), rev. & rem. sub nom. Phillips v. Andress, 634 F.2d 947 (5th Cir B 1981) -- challenge to practice of allowing non_residents to vote in school board elections
Creel v. Freeman, 531 F.2d 286 (5th Cir. 1976), cert. denied 429 US 1066 (1977) -- similar case to Phillips above
Hobson v. Pow, 434 F.Supp. 362 (N.D. Ala. 1977) -- declared Alabama Constitutional provision disenfranchising “wife beaters” to be unconstitutional under the federal constitution
League of Women Voters v. Renfro, 292 Ala 128, 290 So.2d 167 (1974) -- attacked Saturday closing of registrars
Prigmore v. Renfro, 356 F.Supp. 427 (N.D. Ala.) (three judge court) aff'd 410 US 919 (1974) -- attacked limitations on availability of absentee ballots
Whig Party v. Siegelman, 500 F.Supp. 1195 (N.D. Ala. 1980), injunction stayed pending appeal, appeal dismissed as moot (unreported) -- represented Alabama Democratic Party as amicus curiae in case challenging state election laws restricting nominations by small parties
Harris v. Conradi, 675 F.2d 1212 (11th Cir. 1982) -- defended Democratic Party in unsuccessful challenge by Republican Party to state statute allowing unequal numbers of Republicans and Democrats to be appointed as election officials
Harris v. Graddick, 593 F.Supp. 128, 601 F.Supp. 70 (M.D. Ala. 1984) -- represented Democratic Party (nominal defendants) in suit to reform method of selection of polling officials
Newman v. Hunt, 787 F.Supp. 193 (M.D. Ala. 1992) -- attacked racial discrimination in gubernatorial appointment to fill vacancy on county commission