Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief Filed Against The U.S. Election Assistance Commission
New York, NY, February 12, 2016 — Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, serving as pro bono co-counsel to the League of Women Voters of the United States, along with its Alabama, Georgia and Kansas Leagues, has filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in federal court against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), arguing that the EAC’s Executive Director Brian D. Newby’s action requiring eligible voters in Alabama, Georgia and Kansas to provide documentary proof of citizenship on the federal voter registration form (“the Federal Form”) is illegal. The Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, and Project Vote, along with Marvin Brown and JoAnn Brown, are also plaintiffs in the suit against the EAC. The case has been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The filing alleges that Executive Director Newby has unlawfully modified the Federal Form, which is prescribed by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Executive Director Newby has violated both EAC policy and federal law by unilaterally granting requests by Alabama, Georgia and Kansas to modify the Federal Form’s instructions to require voter registration applicants in those States to submit documentary proof of U.S. citizenship. According to the filing, documentary proof of citizenship requirements undermine the groups’ efforts to increase civic participation and make it more difficult for individuals to vote.
“Stroock is proud to be part of the team challenging this highly troubling move, which would implement unnecessary requirements already ruled illegal by a federal court and the Election Assistance Commission itself,” said Partner Michael C. Keats of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. “We are confident this unlawful action will not be allowed to stand.”
The Stroock team, led by Partner Michael C. Keats, includes Associates Joel T. Dodge, Chelsea L. Goulet, and Amelia J. Schmidt.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP is a law firm providing transactional, regulatory and litigation guidance to leading financial institutions, multinational corporations, investment funds and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad. Our emphasis on excellence and innovation has enabled us to maintain long-term relationships with our clients and made us one of the nation’s leading law firms for almost 140 years. Stroock’s practice areas include capital markets/securities, commercial finance, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, private equity, private funds, commodities and derivatives, employment law and benefits, energy and project finance, entertainment, environmental law, financial restructuring, financial services litigation, government relations, insurance, intellectual property, investment management, litigation, national security/CFIUS, personal client services, real estate, structured finance and tax.