University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
ACORN v. Edgar
October 3, 2011
In this lawsuit in 1995-1996, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and several other plaintiffs, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the League of Women Voters brought suit against the State of Illinois, which was refusing to implement the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), 42 U.S.C. Section 1973gg, et seq., usually known as the Motor Voter law. The State argued that the Constitution did not authorize Congress to force state governments to administer federal programs, here a program for facilitating the registration of voters in federal elections. Both the district court and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Act against this challenge, and Illinois proceeded to implement the statute.

This case has been the subject of a great deal of recent interest--including a large number of requests that it be featured in the Clearinghouse--because ACORN and several other plaintiffs were represented by Barack Obama. As a service to anyone interested, we've posted a great many documents and opinions in the case.

Relevant case(s) include: