A unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision striking down Ohio’s recent law limiting early voting. Although the panel divided on its reasoning, all three judges concluded that the law has serious constitutional deficiencies. Themajority opinion was written by Judge Eric Clay, a Clinton appointee, and Judge Joseph Hood, a George H.W. Bush appointee.
If the state chooses to appeal this decision, it may appeal either to the full Sixth Circuit or to the Supreme Court. Currently, Republican appointed active judges outnumber Democratic appointees 10-6 on this court, and the Sixth Circuit does have a record of handing down ideologically divided decisions in cases that could impact presidential elections. Judge Hood, the Bush appointee who joined today’s opinion, is a district court judge on temporary designation to the appeals court and would not join the full panel of judges should it be convened.