CINCINNATI, OH – The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a request this evening from Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to stay a preliminary injunction against enforcing election prohibitions again “ballot selfies,” photographs voters take of their own marked ballots and often post online. The ruling, in the case Crookston v. Johnson, followed an emergency appeal from the injunction, which was issued Monday by Judge Janet T. Neff of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
“Ballot selfies are once again illegal in Michigan,” said Stephen Klein, Pillar attorney and lead counsel to Crookston in the case. “I congratulate the Michigan Attorney General and Secretary of State for their successful effort to uphold censorship.”
Secretary Johnson argued that Crookston brought his case too close to the election and that Judge Neff’s injunction was issued too late to implement changes before election day on November 8. On this basis, a majority of the three-judge panel, Judges Jeffrey Sutton and Ralph Guy, granted the stay.
Chief Judge Guy Cole dissented, writing in part:
“In permitting the loss of such a fundamental right, the majority puts the administrative interests of the state above the individual rights of the citizens of Michigan.”
“I have nothing to add to that,” said Klein.
The Pillar of Law Institute is a nonprofit public interest law firm. Located in Washington, DC, Pillar represents citizens nationwide against unconstitutional censorship of political speech. Patrick Jaicomo of the Michigan law firm Miller Johnson serves as co-counsel in the case.
Stephen Klein, Attorney