Case: Kishore v. Whitmer

2:20-cv-11605 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: June 18, 2020

Closed Date: Sept. 9, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about the constitutionality of Michigan’s ballot-access requirements during the November 2020 election. On June 18, 2020, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates for President and Vice President filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan. They sued the Governor, Secretary of State and Director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections for declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs alleged Michigan’s ballot access laws, which required independ…

This is a case about the constitutionality of Michigan’s ballot-access requirements during the November 2020 election. On June 18, 2020, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates for President and Vice President filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan. They sued the Governor, Secretary of State and Director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections for declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs alleged Michigan’s ballot access laws, which required independent candidates for President and Vice President to file a qualifying petition with at least 12,000 signatures to have their names placed on the ballot, were unconstitutionally burdensome under the First and Fourteenth Amendments when combined with Michigan’s stay at home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs requested a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the signature requirement against them. The case was assigned to Judge Sean F. Cox.

On June 29, 2020, the state filed a response to the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. On July 8, 2020, the Court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction. The Court applied the Anderson-Burdick balancing framework and found the plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on their claim. 2020 WL 3819125. First, the Court found the signature requirement did not impose a severe burden on the plaintiffs, but rather only an intermediate burden. Plaintiffs did not meet the requirement not only because of state action, but also because they were not diligent in pursuing signatures. The Court found they could have collected signatures from January 2020 (when they announced their candidacy) to March 23rd (when the stay at home order began) and from to June 1st (when the stay at home order ended) to July 16th (the deadline for the signatures). The Court also found the state had interests in administering elections that outweighed the intermediate burden on plaintiffs.

On July 13, 2020, the plaintiffs appealed the denial. On August, 24, 2020, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court for the same rationale regarding a lack of diligence. 972 F.3d 745. It added that the Court should not alter election rules close to an election. 

On September 9, 2020 the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case. The date of the election has passed and there have been no further filings. The case is now closed. 

Summary Authors

Kathryn Hurley (4/1/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17260914/parties/kishore-v-whitmer/


Judge(s)

Boggs, Danny Julian (Kentucky)

Bush, John Kenneth (Kentucky)

Cox, Sean Francis (Michigan)

Grand, David R. (Michigan)

Murphy, Eric Earl (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Lee, Eric (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Grill, Erik A. (Michigan)

Meingast, Heather S. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Boggs, Danny Julian (Kentucky)

Bush, John Kenneth (Kentucky)

Cox, Sean Francis (Michigan)

Grand, David R. (Michigan)

Murphy, Eric Earl (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Lee, Eric (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Grill, Erik A. (Michigan)

Meingast, Heather S. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Sept. 16, 2020 Docket
1

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

June 18, 2020 Complaint
17

Opinion & Order Denying Motion for Preliminary Injunction

2020 WL 3819125

July 8, 2020 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

972 F.3d 745

Aug. 24, 2020 Order/Opinion
25

Plaintiffs' Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i)

Sept. 9, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17260914/kishore-v-whitmer/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT for declaratory and injunctive relief filed by All Plaintiffs against All Defendants. Plaintiff requests summons issued. Receipt No: AMIEDC-7872942 - Fee: $ 400. County of 1st Plaintiff: Oakland - County Where Action Arose: Oakland - County of 1st Defendant: Ingham. [Previously dismissed case: No] [Possible companion case(s): None] (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 06/18/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

June 18, 2020 Clearinghouse
2

SUMMONS Issued for *Jocelyn Benson, Jonathan Brater, Gretchen Whitmer* (SKra) (Entered: 06/18/2020)

June 18, 2020 PACER
3

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order, MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Affidavit of Joseph Kishore, Socialist Equality Party candidate for U.S. president, and exibits, # 2 Exhibit Affidavit of Helen Halyard, veteran socialist campaigner, # 3 Exhibit Affidavit of Henrietta Freeman, Detroit public schoolteacher, # 4 Exhibit Affidavit of Florlisa Stebbins, Flint water activist, # 5 Exhibit Affidavit of Gregory Near, retired Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra musician, # 6 Exhibit Affidavit of Richard Winger and exhibits) (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 06/18/2020)

June 18, 2020 PACER
4

NOTICE TO APPEAR BY TELEPHONE: Status Conference set for 6/23/2020 at 11:30 AM before District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC) (Entered: 06/19/2020)

June 19, 2020 PACER
5

CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. All Defendants. (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 06/22/2020)

June 22, 2020 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings before District Judge Sean F. Cox: Telephonic Status Conference held on 6/23/2020. (Court Reporter: None Present, Not on the Record) (JMcC)

June 23, 2020 PACER
6

ORDER re 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining, Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz. (Response due by 8:00 a.m. on 6/29/2020, Reply due by 8:00 a.m. 6/30/2020, Motion Hearing set for 7/2/2020 at 03:00 PM before District Judge Sean F. Cox) Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC) (Entered: 06/23/2020)

June 23, 2020 PACER
7

NOTICE OF HEARING BY VIDEO CONFERENCE on 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction. Motion Hearing set for 7/2/2020 at 03:00 PM before District Judge Sean F. Cox |Zoom Webinar Information: Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/95369587751?pwd=TmFxdENCb2VvVDc3cHZKSi9mYkE5Zz09 Password: 809037 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16027530140,,95369587751#,,,,0#,,809037# or +12133388477,,95369587751#,,,,0#,,809037#| (JMcC) (Entered: 06/23/2020)

June 23, 2020 PACER
8

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Heather S. Meingast appearing on behalf of Jocelyn Benson, Jonathan Brater, Gretchen Whitmer (Meingast, Heather) (Entered: 06/26/2020)

June 26, 2020 PACER
9

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Erik A. Grill appearing on behalf of Jocelyn Benson, Jonathan Brater, Gretchen Whitmer (Grill, Erik) (Entered: 06/26/2020)

June 26, 2020 PACER
10

RESPONSE to 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Jocelyn Benson, Jonathan Brater, Gretchen Whitmer. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits Exhibit List, # 2 Exhibit A. Declaration of Jonathan Brater) (Meingast, Heather) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

June 29, 2020 PACER
11

Ex Parte MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by Jocelyn Benson, Jonathan Brater, Gretchen Whitmer. (Meingast, Heather) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

June 29, 2020 PACER

TEXT-ONLY ORDER Granting 11 Ex Parte MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages. Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (MacKay, K)

June 29, 2020 PACER
12

ORDER Regarding Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (MacKay, K) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

June 29, 2020 PACER
13

AFFIDAVIT of Kishore re 12 Order by All Plaintiffs (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

June 29, 2020 PACER
14

AMENDED ORDER Regarding Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (MacKay, K) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

June 29, 2020 PACER
15

REPLY to Response re 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Affidavit of campaign volunteer Singh Ghuman, # 2 Exhibit Contemporaneous notes of campaign volunteer Singh Ghuman) (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

June 29, 2020 PACER

Text-Only Order

June 29, 2020 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings before District Judge Sean F. Cox: Motion Hearing held on 7/2/2020 re 3 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz. Disposition: Motion taken under advisement (Court Reporter: Christin Russell) (JMcC)

July 2, 2020 PACER
16

NOTICE by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit SawariMedia LLC v. Whitmer decision) (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 07/03/2020)

July 3, 2020 PACER
17

OPINION AND ORDER Denying 3 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC) (Entered: 07/08/2020)

July 8, 2020 Clearinghouse
18

TRANSCRIPT of Motion Hearing held on 7/2/2020. (Court Reporter/Transcriber: Christin E. Russell) (Number of Pages: 22) The parties have 21 days to file with the court and Court Reporter/Transcriber a Redaction Request of this transcript. If no request is filed, the transcript may be made remotely electronically available to the public without redaction after 90 days. Redaction Request due 7/30/2020. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 8/10/2020. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 10/7/2020. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date, the transcript is publicly available. (Russell, C.) (Entered: 07/09/2020)

July 9, 2020 PACER
19

NOTICE OF APPEAL by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz re 17 Order on Motion for TRO, Order on Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Receipt No: AMIEDC-7920928 - Fee: $ 505 - Fee Status: Fee Paid. (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 07/13/2020)

July 13, 2020 PACER
20

Certificate of Service re 19 Notice of Appeal. (SKra) (Entered: 07/13/2020)

July 13, 2020 PACER
21

ORDER from U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit re 19 Notice of Appeal filed by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz [Appeal Case Number 20-1661] (TTho) (Entered: 07/15/2020)

July 15, 2020 PACER
22

STIPULATION AND ORDER Extending Time for Defendants to Respond re 1 Complaint. (Responsive Pleading due by 7/24/2020) Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC) (Entered: 07/17/2020)

July 17, 2020 PACER
23

STIPULATION AND ORDER Extending Time for Defendants to Respond re 1 Complaint. (Responsive Pleading due by 9/4/2020) Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC)ng (Entered: 07/29/2020)

July 29, 2020 PACER
24

OPINION AND JUDGMENT from U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit re 19 Notice of Appeal filed by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz [Appeal Case Number 20-1661] (TTho) (Entered: 08/24/2020)

Aug. 24, 2020 PACER
25

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by All Plaintiffs (Lee, Eric) (Entered: 09/09/2020)

Sept. 9, 2020 Clearinghouse
26

MANDATE from U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit as to 19 Notice of Appeal filed by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz [Appeal Case Number 20-1661] (TTho) (Entered: 09/16/2020)

Sept. 16, 2020 PACER
26

MANDATE from U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit as to 19 Notice of Appeal filed by Joseph Tanniru Kishore, Norissa Santa Cruz [Appeal Case Number 20-1661] (TTho) (Entered: 09/16/2020)

Sept. 16, 2020 PACER

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Healthy Elections COVID litigation tracker

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 18, 2020

Closing Date: Sept. 9, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Presidential and vice presidential candidates for the Socialist Equality Party

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Governor, State

Secretary of State, State

Director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Voting

Voting:

Candidate qualifications

Election administration