Political News

Supreme Court Justice Kagan clears the way for sending mail-in ballots to Montana voters

Posted October 8, 2020 3:45 p.m. EDT

— Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Thursday denied a request from Republicans to block Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's directive last month allowing counties to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Kagan, who has jurisdiction over the lower court involved in the case, turned down the request without referring the petition to her colleagues or asking the other side for its views.

The suit was brought by Joe Lamm of the Ravali County Republican Central Committee as well as several voters.

"While Covid is a national tragedy, it poses no emergency," James Bopp, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, wrote in court papers. Bopp noted that the Montana legislature already allowed any qualified voter to obtain a no-excuse absentee ballot by merely applying.

Lower courts have upheld Montana's directive. Bullock, a Democrat, issued a similar directive in the primary, and all of the state's counties opted to send out mail-in ballots to voters. Bullock will appear on the ballot as a candidate for Senate in November.

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