明尼苏达州投票权法案在参众两院听证

2024年3月11日

The House 和 森ate elections committees heard a bill this week that would establish a private right of action under a new Minnesota Voting Rights Act, 改变了联邦投票权法案的标准.

一项建立明尼苏达州投票权法案的法案通过了 众议院选举、财政和政策委员会参议院选举委员会 在3月4日那一周.

SF 3994 (森. 鲍比·乔·钱皮恩(DFL-Minneapolis)和 HF 3527 (代表. 艾玛·格林曼, DFL-Minneapolis) would provide for a private right of action under the Minnesota Voting Rights Act 和 a new prelegal process that would direct all claims under this act to local jurisdictions. 联盟工作人员在两次听证会上都提供了证词,分享了它将如何影响城市.

Background

8人的裁决th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November 2023 ruled that private litigants can no longer bring lawsuits under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA), eliminating the ability for private groups or individuals to bring claims under a provision in the VRA that prohibits discrimination in 重划选区 和 voting. This ruling contradicts the other circuit courts 和 decades of prior case law 和 could potentially be taken up by the U.S. 最高法院. 作为对8th 巡回法院判决, this bill aims to establish a private right of action under a new Minnesota Voting Rights Act.

选民压制和选票稀释

该法案将禁止压制选民和稀释选票. 根据这项法案, a political subdivision could be found in violation of the voter suppression prohibition by adopting or enforcing a law or ordinance or by taking an action or failing to take an action that results in a disparity in voter participation, 获得投票机会, 或者是受保护阶层参与政治进程的能力.

A political subdivision could also be found in violation of the vote dilution prohibition by adopting or enforcing any method of election, 吞并, 合并, 解散, 整合, or division of a political subdivision that has the effect of impairing the equal opportunity or ability of members of a protected class to nominate or elect c和idates of their choice.

该法案确立了与明尼苏达州VRA相关的几个定义, 其中一些旨在反映联邦判例法, 而本节中的其他内容则是从复杂的, 有时是矛盾的, 判例法,为明尼苏达州的自愿者法案建立新的法律标准.

该法案还规定了法院在案件中必须考虑的相关因素, 和 it lists which factors a court cannot consider in determining if a jurisdiction has violated the Minnesota VRA. Factors that must be excluded include the use of past elections practices or use of the same practices in another jurisdiction, 以及不受资格质疑影响的其他形式的投票的可用性.

Presuit通知

This bill would establish a new process in which all claims regarding the Minnesota VRA would begin with a presuit notice sent to a political subdivision. 在这份预审通知中, 潜在的原告将被要求包括潜在的违规行为, 受影响的受保护阶层, 以及潜在原告认为可以解决侵权问题的救济类型.

A political subdivision would then be required to work with the party asserting a violation to attempt to implement a remedy that cures the violation, 允许在决议通过后90天内制定和实施补救措施. 本节 w修订的 to grant the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State the authority to approve certain remedies in the event a deadline in statute would prevent a political subdivision from enacting a remedy. 如果一个政治部门缺乏执行补救措施的权力, 他们可以向地方法院提交请愿书,要求获得授权.

本节, 修订的, would also require a local jurisdiction to pay costs to a prospective plaintiff if it implements a remedy in response to the presuit notice. 各方必须就偿还达成协议,偿还上限为40 000美元. 本节, 修正案通过前, would have required the local jurisdiction to pay all costs associated with producing the presuit notice with no cap.

诉讼权利、救济和费用

This bill would establish a right of action for any individual or entity aggrieved by a violation of this act, 就即将举行的选举确立初步救济程序, 并允许法院在发现违规行为时下令进行补救.

An alleging party is considered to have prevailed if the party against whom the action was filed has yielded or was ordered to yield some or all of the relief sought in the action. 如果一个政治分区屈服于或被命令屈服于部分或全部救济, 法院必须要求他们支付律师费和诉讼费用, 包括专家证人费用和开支, 致获胜方.

对城市的影响

The new legal st和ard established in this bill for voting rights violations is important for cities to underst和 as it relates to their actions or inactions surrounding certain elections activities. Cities that exercise any discretion outside of elections requirements in state law in actions such as establishing polling places, 重划选区, or utilizing an at-large council will need to underst和 how their discretion used in these actions could lead to a potential claim under this new act.

而法定城市目前只能利用一个普通议会, 该法案的修正案将授予一个法定城市这项权力, 通过条例, 建立以区为基础的理事会制度, 这种补救措施之前在全国范围内违反了《自愿者法案.

联盟的证词和担忧

The League provided both in-person 和 written testimony in partnership with the Association of Minnesota Counties to share questions 和 concerns with members of the House 和 森ate elections committees. There continue to be questions regarding how this state law would change the legal st和ard from the federal VRA 和 whether the new st和ard would result in more claims against local jurisdictions.

The League also continues to ask for more clarity surrounding several of the key terms 和 concepts defined in the bill 和 how the factors to be excluded 和 included in court decisions would be interpreted by courts.

The League has also raised concerns regarding the presuit notice process created in the bill that would require local governments to analyze 和 interpret claims against themselves under the VRA; attempt to provide appropriate remedies outside of a court process; 和 pay any legal or research costs incurred by a prospective plaintiff’s creation of the presuit notice.

该法案的下一步

HF 3527 被送出了 众议院选举、财政和政策委员会 3月6日,他提到了 众议院司法、财政和民法委员会. SF 3994 被送出了 参议院选举委员会 3月7日,他提到了 参议院、州和地方稳定的十大彩票网站以及退伍军人委员会. League staff will continue to discuss questions 和 concerns as this bill relates to cities with the authors of the bills as they move forward.

阅读更多稳定的十大彩票网站文章.