On May 11, the U.S. Supreme Court revealed that it has placed Dallas County v Texas Democratic Party, 10-755, on its May 26 conference. The conference will probably decide whether to hear the case. The case had also been on the March 18 conference, but the Court had not then decided whether to hear the case, nor had it rescheduled it immediately for another conference, as is customary.
The issue is whether Dallas County’s new rules concerning its vote-counting machines should have been submitted to the Voting Rights Section of the Justice Department. The Texas Democratic Party doesn’t like the Dallas County vote-counting machines, because the machines have a tendency to trick some voters into voting just for a single candidate, even though the voter believes he or she has activated the straight-ticket device and has voted for all partisan office.
There are other U.S. Supreme Court election law cases that have already been through at least one conference, and for which no decision has been made by the Court on whether to hear that case. The case involving the U.S. Senate election in Illinois in 2010 is one such case (10-367 and 10-821); another is the Green Party of Connecticut case concerning discriminatory public funding (10-795).
The U.S. Supreme Court has set a May 12 conference date in Nader v Bennett, 10-1186. This is not an election law case. It concerns Ralph Nader’s ballot access case from 2004 against Arizona, but at this point the only outstanding issue is whether the lower courts in Arizona gave the proper amount of attorneys fees to Nader’s attorneys, the Bernhoft law firm of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The firm argues that the standards for calculating attorneys’ fees, in civil rights cases when the state loses, have been applied arbitrarily and that the firm is entitled to more fees than it received. Here is the cert petition.