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Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute

Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) is a voting rights case challenging Ohio’s unlawful purge practices.

Published: June 11, 2018

On June 11, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld a contro­ver­sial Ohio purge prac­tice in a 5–4 decision called Husted vs. A. Phil­lip Randolph Insti­tute (APRI). Under the chal­lenged law, voters in Ohio who miss a single federal elec­tion will be flagged for a process that could ulti­mately end in removal from the rolls. Under the process, a flagged voter must be sent a forward­able address-confirm­a­tion notice. If there is no response, and the voter does not have any elec­tion-related activ­ity for two federal elec­tions, the state could then remove them from the voter rolls.

APRI, a labor and civil rights group repres­en­ted by Demos, the Amer­ican Civil Liber­ties Union, and the ACLU of Ohio, first chal­lenged Ohio’s process in district court on April 6, 2016. APRI argued the law viol­ated the provi­sions of the National Voter Regis­tra­tion Act (NVRA) that prohib­ited voter removals from the rolls on account of fail­ing to vote. The Bren­nan Center, repres­en­ted by the law firm Arnold and Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, filed an amicus brief with the League of Women Voters of Ohio and the League of Women Voters of the United States in support of the plaintiffs, arguing that miss­ing one federal elec­tion is an unre­li­able indic­ator that a voter has moved or is other­wise ineligible to vote.

Ohio is one of only six states that initi­ates the removal process based on the fail­ure to vote, and the only state that does so based on a single federal elec­tion.

The U.S. Depart­ment of Justice had previ­ously suppor­ted APRI’s chal­lenge, but switched its posi­tion in August 2016 to support the state. The district court ruled in Ohio’s favor on June 29, 2016 before being reversed by the Sixth Circuit on Septem­ber 23, 2016. The Supreme Court gran­ted certi­or­ari in Febru­ary 2017 and reversed the Sixth Circuit on June 11, 2018.

Appeals Court Docu­ments

Supreme Court Docu­ments