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Virginia NAACP v. Kaine

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Virginia NAACP v. Kaine
Scalesofjustice.jpg
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Full case nameVirginia State Conference of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Branches; et al. v. Timoth M. Kaine, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia; et al.
Date filedOctober 28, 2008
Judges sittingRaymond A. Jackson


Issues

The Virginia NAACP sues on behalf of various African-American voters. They argue that precincts that are often predominately African-American are predominantly more populous, have a higher voter to voting booth ratio, and often have a higher voter to poll worker ration. These problems result in a disparete impact against African-Americans, to where they are more likely to have to wait in long lines, are more likely to leave the polls having not voted, and are generally more likely not to vote. They this is a violation of the equal protection clause of United States Constitution the Virginia Constitution, and the Civil Rights Act. As a remedy, the NAACP seeks an injunction keeping the polls in certain areas open in order to prevent the disenfranchisement of African-American voters.

Response

The Virginia Republican Party sought to implede as an intervenor on behalf of the governor. They first argue that the remedy of extending the time at certain polling would not befair to voters at other polling places. In particular, when two precincts are in the same legislative district, where one has extended voting, and the other does not, the result would lead to the unfair treatment of voters in the second precinct. They also argue that to extend the voting hours statewide would lead to other problems, such as over-working election officials. Lastly they argue that the court does not have the power to make this change because the law governing election day operations, particularly polling hours, is governed by statute, and is inambiguous.