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Supreme Court of the United States
October 21, 2020, Decided
[*25] [**244] Application for stay presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court granted, and the district court's September 30, 2020 order granting a permanent injunction is stayed pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and disposition of the petition for writ of certiorari, if such writ is timely sought. Should the petition for writ of certiorari be denied, this stay shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for writ of certiorari is granted, the stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court.
Dissent by: SOTOMAYOR
[*26] Justice Sotomayor, with whom Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan join, dissenting from grant of stay.
This stay application arises from the Alabama secretary of state’s decision to ban curbside voting despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the willingness of [**245] certain Alabama counties to assist voters with disabilities. Following a lengthy trial and resting on an extensive record, the District Court found, among other things, that the secretary’s ban violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) [***2] by forcing voters with disabilities, for whom COVID-19 is disproportionately likely to be fatal, to risk unnecessary exposure to the virus if they wish to vote in person. The District Court enjoined the secretary’s ban, thus allowing counties that are ready to adopt curbside voting to do so. I would not upset the District Court’s record-based, reasoned, and narrowly tailored judgment, which the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit let stand. 1
The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic should, by now, need no elaboration. As of October 20, 2020, Alabama’s Department of Public Health has identified 174,528 cases of COVID-19 in the State, leading to 19,801 hospitalizations and 2,805 deaths. 2 Those figures include about 37,000 new cases and 400 more deaths since the District Court issued its findings of fact less than a month ago. See ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, ___, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180038, 2020 WL 5814455, *2 (ND Ala., Sept. 30, 2020). COVID-19 presents particularly serious risks for those with chronic medical conditions. As Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris warned, “‘[c]hronic disease factors are a real risk for dying from this disease, and chronic diseases are found in about a third of our citizens.’” 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180038, [WL] at *4. Over 95 percent of Alabamians who [***3] have died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions that made them especially vulnerable to that virus. Ibid.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
141 S. Ct. 25 *; 208 L. Ed. 2d 244 **; 2020 U.S. LEXIS 5183 ***; 89 U.S.L.W. 3132; 2020 WL 6156545
John H. Merrill, Alabama Secretary of State, et al., Petitioners v. PEOPLE FIRST OF ALABAMA, ET AL.
Notice: The LEXIS pagination of this document is subject to change pending release of the final published version.
Prior History: [***1] ON APPLICATION FOR STAY
People v. Ala., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 31612 (11th Cir. Ala., Oct. 2, 2020)
voting, voters, curbside, disabilities, in-person, ban, injunction, Disease, ballot