by Emilio Jaksetic
This year Attorney General Mark Herring has joined legal filings in court cases involving election law disputes in six other states. This is strange because legal disputes about the election laws of other states: (1) are not within his jurisdiction or authority, (2) have no legal effect on Virginia or its elections; and (3) set no precedents that can bind or limit a Virginia court interpreting Virginia law.
Under the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 4, “[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof ….” And, the election laws pertaining to state and local elections fall under the relevant provisions of each state’s constitution and statutory laws. So, disputes over the election laws of other states have no bearing on Virginia’s election laws. Furthermore, nothing in the Virginia Constitution or the Virginia Code gives Herring any duty or responsibility for getting involved in legal disputes about the election laws of other states.
Nevertheless, press releases from the Office of the Attorney General show that he has joined in the filing of amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs in lawsuits concerning the election laws of the following states: Continue reading