The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea by Republicans in Maine to block the state from using ranked-choice voting in the upcoming presidential election. Justice Stephen Breyer, who handles emergency appeals from the geographic area that includes Maine, turned down the request without comment and without referring the appeal to the full court, suggesting that Breyer did not regard it as a particularly close call.

Maine plans to become the first state to use ranked-choice voting in federal elections in November. Republicans collected signatures to put a referendum on the 2020 ballot to end ranked-choice voting, but Maine’s secretary of state rejected their petition. Republicans challenged that decision in state court, but Maine’s highest court ruled that Republicans had not shown that the requirements imposed by the secretary of state violated the First Amendment.

Maine Republicans came to the Supreme Court on Oct. 2, asking the justices to enter an order barring the state from using ranked-choice voting. The state’s constitution, they argued, “requires the challenged legislation to remain suspended until a successful” referendum is put up for a vote. Breyer denied the Republicans’ request, clearing the way for the state to use ranked-choice voting in November.

This article was originally published at Howe on the Court.

Posted in Election litigation, Emergency appeals and applications

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Breyer rejects Republicans’ plea to stop ranked-choice voting in Maine, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 6, 2020, 10:17 PM),