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Case Name Coalition for Good Governance v. Raffensperger VR-GA-0171
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-01677 ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
NOTE: This case is being tracked in close to real time by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project. So for more current information, see their tracker. COVID-19 Summary: This suit was brought on April 20 by a nonprofit ... read more >
NOTE: This case is being tracked in close to real time by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project. So for more current information, see their tracker. COVID-19 Summary: This suit was brought on April 20 by a nonprofit organization and five voter plaintiffs against the state of Georgia to challenge various provisions of Georgia’s election system. The plaintiffs sought an order requiring the defendants to postpone the June elections by three weeks, replace hand-marked paper ballots to a touchscreen, allow curbside voting, and to require safer conditions for election workers among other proposed remedies. On May 11, the defendants submitted a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the court granted on May 14. The plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration with a motion to expedite, which was denied on May 26. The plaintiffs have since filed an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit.


On April 20, 2020, a nonprofit organization and five voter plaintiffs filed a suit against the Secretary of State of Georgia and the Georgia State Election Board to challenge various provisions of Georgia’s election system. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants did not take adequate voting safety measures in response to COVID-19, which violated due process and equal protection against the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs brought this lawsuit as a declaratory action under 28 U.S.C. § § 2201-02 and as an injunctive action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and sought an order requiring the defendants to postpone the June elections by three weeks, replace hand-marked paper ballots to a touchscreen, allow curbside voting, and to require safer conditions for election workers among other proposed remedies. The plaintiffs also sought attorneys fees and were represented by private attorneys. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and assigned to Judge Timothy C. Batten. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on April 26.

On May 11, the plaintiffs submitted a temporary restraining order (TRO), arguing that waiting until the May 14 hearing, with the election scheduled for June 9, would cause irreparable harm. The same day, the defendants submitted a motion to dismiss the complaint. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing and were barred by the Eleventh Amendment. The next day, the plaintiffs were ordered to respond to the defendants’ motion and to address the recent holding by the Eleventh Circuit in a separate case in Florida, Jacobson v Florida Secretary of State. The Jacobson case considered whether voters and organizations had the standing to challenge Florida law that governed the order in which candidates appeared on the general election ballot. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court ruling to enjoin the state of Florida from preparing the ballots, as the plaintiffs failed to prove injury in fact, and because the district court lacked authority to enjoin the state. On May 13, the plaintiffs responded to the motion to dismiss, arguing that the Jacobson ruling did not have an adverse impact on establishing standing against the defendants.

On May 14, the court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss and denied the plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction and TRO. 2020 WL 2509092. The court found that the plaintiffs’ claims presented a non-justiciable political question, and sought extensive relief on the eve of an election. In response, the plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration with a motion to expedite on May 19. The next day, the defendants filed an opposition to the reconsideration. On May 26, the court denied the reconsideration motion, and the motion to expedite was deemed moot.

On June 26, the plaintiffs appealed to the Eleventh Circuit. The case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 08/16/2020


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Voting
Voting access
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
COVID-19 Release Denied
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Challenges to at-large/multimember district/election
Voter qualifications
Voter registration rules
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Georgia State Election Board
Secretary of State of Georgia
Plaintiff Description a nonprofit organization and five voter plaintiffs
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 04/20/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Coalition for Good Governance v. Raffensperger
https://moritzlaw.osu.edu/
Date: Aug. 20, 2020
By: Moritz College of Law (The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
VR-GA-0171-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 11]
VR-GA-0171-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/26/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 20]
VR-GA-0171-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act [ECF# 24]
VR-GA-0171-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Other Emergency Injunctive Relief [ECF# 27]
VR-GA-0171-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 32]
VR-GA-0171-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State Defendants' Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 33]
VR-GA-0171-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State Defendants' Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 33 (& 33-1 to 33-7)]
VR-GA-0171-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response In Opposition re Motion To Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint On Standing And Eleventh Amendment Defenses Filed By Coalition For Good Governance
VR-GA-0171-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Reply Brief re Motion For Preliminary Injunction filed By Coalition For Good Governance [ECF# 39]
VR-GA-0171-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Response to Statement of Interest Filed by the United States Under Uocava [ECF# 40]
VR-GA-0171-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response In Opposition re Motion For Temporary Restraining Order Immediate Hearing Requested Filed By Ahn Le, Matthew Mashburn, Brad Raffensperger, Rebecca N. Sullivan, David J. Worley [ECF# 41 (& 41-1 to 41-2)]
VR-GA-0171-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 43] (N.D. Ga.)
VR-GA-0171-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Rule 59 Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment [ECF# 48]
VR-GA-0171-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/19/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment [ECF# 53]
VR-GA-0171-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Supplemental Authority in Support of Rule 59 Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment [ECF# 55]
VR-GA-0171-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/25/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 56] (N.D. Ga.)
VR-GA-0171-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Batten, Timothy C. Sr. (N.D. Ga.) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0001 | VR-GA-0171-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Bruce P. (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0002 | VR-GA-0171-0004 | VR-GA-0171-0006 | VR-GA-0171-0007 | VR-GA-0171-0008 | VR-GA-0171-0009 | VR-GA-0171-0013 | VR-GA-0171-0017
McGuire, Robert A. (Washington) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0002 | VR-GA-0171-0004 | VR-GA-0171-0006 | VR-GA-0171-0007 | VR-GA-0171-0008 | VR-GA-0171-0009 | VR-GA-0171-0013 | VR-GA-0171-0017
Defendant's Lawyers Belinfante, Joshua Barrett (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Carr, Christopher M. (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Jacoutot, Bryan Francis (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Johnson, Melanie Leigh (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
LaRoss, Diane Festin (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
McGowan, Charlene S. (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Miller, Carey Allen (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Paradise, Loree Anne (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015
Russo, Vincent Robert Jr. (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Tyson, Bryan P (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Webb, Brian K. (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Willard, Russell D. (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0010 | VR-GA-0171-0011 | VR-GA-0171-0012 | VR-GA-0171-0015 | VR-GA-0171-0016
Other Lawyers Herren, T. Christian Jr. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0005
Hughes, Aileen Bell (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0005
Russell, John A. III (Alabama) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0005
Sitton, Janie Allison (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-GA-0171-0005

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