Resource: RNC v. Newsom

By: Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

September 1, 2020

Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

California Republicans have filed a pair of similar federal lawsuits seeking to block Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's order to send mail ballots to all California voters for the November general election. One suit was brought by the RNC, NRCC, and the California Republican Party ("RNC Plaintiffs") while the other was filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch on behalf of former Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who is waging a comeback bid in the 50th Congressional District this fall, and others ("Issa Plaintiffs"). The two cases both allege the governor's mail ballot plan violates the Constitution because it usurps the legislature's powers. Specifically, RNC Plaintiffs allege violations of the Elections Clause, the Electors Clause, the Right to Vote, and the Equal Protection Clause. The Court granted California Democrats' motions to intevene but denied several other organizations' motions to intervene. Later, the RNC Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the action in its entirety because the executive order was superseded by a legislative act.