On October 9, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana denied a motion to stay the preliminary injunction Eimer Stahl LLP obtained on September 22 on behalf of the firm’s pro bono client Common Cause Indiana, a non-profit that safeguards Indiana citizen’s fundamental right to vote. The injunction blocks the enforcement of a suite of Indiana election laws that bar disenfranchised voters from bringing actions in state court on Election Day to extend polling-place hours. Indiana officials argued in part that, under the Supreme Court’s Purcell principle, the injunction should be stayed because of its proximity to the November 3 election. The Purcell principle counsels that federal judges should be hesitant to alter election rules in the weeks leading up to an election in order to avoid causing disruption or confusion. Today, the Court agreed with Common Cause Indiana that the animating principles of Purcell are absent from this case and that the doctrine therefore does not apply. The Court also adopted one of Common Cause Indiana’s additional rationales for the unconstitutionality of the enjoined Indiana law.
Greg Schweizer is the lead Eimer Stahl LLP attorney representing Common Cause Indiana. Eimer Stahl LLP attorneys Brent Austin and Sarah Kinter are also assisting on the matter, alongside co-counsel from the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights.