Resource: McCarter v. Brown

By: Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

September 28, 2020

Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

Plaintiff sought a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction asking for multiple types of relief due to the Governor of Oregon and various local county officials’ executive orders’ violating plaintiff’s Constitutional Rights afforded under the 1st Amendment and 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiff’s main complaint is that rules related to the requirements for election ballot initiatives coupled with prohibitions on gatherings and requiring social distancing related to COVID-19, limited Plaintiff from being able to obtain the requisite number of petition signatures required to add a referendum to certain county ballots. The Court denied Plaintiff’s Complaint, using rational basis review after finding that Plaintiff did not satisfy the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals test for applying strict scrutiny. Using the rational basis test, the Court found that Defendant’s requirements for ballot initiatives further an important regulatory interest, and that Plaintiff has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim therefore precluding the preliminary injunction.