Tag Archives: Secretary of State

Marilyn Marks v. Gessler, Colorado Secretary of State and Judd Choate, [Director of Elections], 2013COA115 (Aug. 1, 2013)

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – FDR. Marks filed a complaint with Gessler claiming violations of federal election laws (HAVA). Gessler dismissed the complaint without a hearing for lack of standing. Marks appealed to the district court and won. In a complex ruling, the court of appeals affirmed because 1) the state’s APA provides for judicial review of administrative HAVA determinations; 2) federal and state HAVA laws conflict regarding standing, so the federal rule controls; and 3) HAVA did not create a privately enforceable federal civil right. Procedurally, the court 1) identified the final appealable order; 2) affirmed sua sponte entry of summary judgment; and 3) held state and federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction to review HAVA appeals.

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Filed under Administrative, Appellate Review Challenged, Constitutional, Government

Colorado Common Cause and Colorado Ethics Watch v. Gessler, Secretary of State 2012COA147 (August 30, 2012)

“Committee: n. A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.” (Paul Ogden). The Colorado Constitution and related legislation, subjects an “issue committee” to registration and disclosure requirements once it receives $200. The Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, issued a rule that said that the “issue committee” regulations were not triggered until the group received $5000. At the center of this case is a 10th Circuit opinion holding that the “issue committee” registration requirements, as applied to a group of neighbors distributing fliers in opposition to the annexation of their neighborhood, unconstitutionally infringed on their First Amendment rights. That opinion did not, however, invalidate the law. So, the new rule, intended to address some uncertainty from the 10th Circuit opinion, contravened the law, and therefore the Secretary exceeded his authority to issue it.



Certiorari GRANTED

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Filed under Administrative, Constitutional, Government