ACLU of Ohio v. Taft, US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, decided September 27, 2004 [on whether Ohio Gov. Bob Taft denied voters their constitutional rights to vote and to equal representation when he declined to order a special election to fill the vacancy created when former Congressman James Traficant was expelled from office because of a bribery and racketeering conviction]. Read the opinion here. Excerpt:
We conclude that Article I, section 2, clause 4 imposed a mandatory duty upon Governor Taft to hold a special election to fill the vacancy in the District created by the expulsion of Traficant. Although there may be situations where an executive's duty is excused because the time remaining on the Congressional term is truly de minimis, this was not such a situation. While legislative balancing of the state's and its voters' interests is entitled to deference, a special election that complied with Ohio's election code could have been held in this case. Therefore, we hold that Governor Taft violated his duty to call a special election under Article I, section 2, clause 4 and denied ACLU members the rights to vote and to equal protection in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.