Case: Warren v. Griswold

20CV31077 | Colorado state trial court

Filed Date: March 17, 2020

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Case Summary

COVID-19 summary: A democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who could not meet the signatures requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic sought to an order to put her name on the primary ballot. On April 21, the trial court ruled in her favor, however, the decision was overruled by the Colorado Supreme Court, which found that the “legislature alone has the authority to change the minimum signature requirements set out in the Election Code.” On March 17, Michelle Ferrigno Warren, a Democratic c…

COVID-19 summary: A democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who could not meet the signatures requirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic sought to an order to put her name on the primary ballot. On April 21, the trial court ruled in her favor, however, the decision was overruled by the Colorado Supreme Court, which found that the “legislature alone has the authority to change the minimum signature requirements set out in the Election Code.”


On March 17, Michelle Ferrigno Warren, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, filed an action against the Colorado Secretary of State in the Denver District Court, seeking a court order to put her name on the primary ballot. She argued that COVID-19, and the resulting state of emergency, prevented her from collecting the required 1500 signatures before the deadline of March 7. The plaintiff had collected 5383 signatures of the 10,500 required and had only collected enough signatures in one of the state’s districts. She further argued that she had demonstrated substantial compliance under the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trial court ordered the plaintiff to be put on the June 30 Democratic primary ballot for U.S. Senate on April 21, finding that she had substantially complied with the signature threshold. The court found that a 50% threshold was reasonable, and that “strict adherence to the signature requirement for primary petitions must yield to this unprecedented public health emergency.”

The defendant appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. On May 4, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the plaintiff did not collect the required signatures from each district and reversed the order of the district court. 462 P.3d 1081. They reasoned that the “legislature alone has the authority to change the minimum signature requirements set out in the Election Code.”

Summary Authors

Averyn Lee (6/14/2020)

People


Attorney for Plaintiff

Athanasiou, Joy F (Colorado)

Attorney for Defendant

Buckley, Emily B. (Colorado)

Morrill, Leeann (Colorado)

Expert/Monitor/Master/Other

Baumann, Jennifer A. (Missouri)

Padden, Amy L. (Colorado)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

20CV31077

Order Regarding Petition for Declaratory Relief

April 21, 2020

April 21, 2020

Order/Opinion

2020 CO 34

Application for Review Pursuant to § 1-1-113(3), C.R.S. and Opening Brief

Griswold v. Warren

Colorado state supreme court

April 24, 2020

April 24, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

2020 CO 34

Opinion

Griswold v. Warren

Colorado state supreme court

May 4, 2020

May 4, 2020

Order/Opinion

462 P.3d 462

Docket

Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 3:22 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Colorado

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 17, 2020

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A democratic candidate for the primary ballot

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Colorado Secretary of State, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Voting:

Candidate qualifications

Voting: General & Misc.