Court Protects North Dakota Voters in Upcoming Primary


North Dakota Capitol

Friday, June 8, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, issued an order denying the State of North Dakota’s request to stay the U.S. District Court’s injunction in Brakebill, et al. v. Jaeger. In the case, several Native Americans living in North Dakota sued the state for its discriminatory voter ID law, which disproportionately kept Native Americans from voting. In April, citing the “public interest in protecting the most cherished right to vote for thousands of Native Americans who currently lack a qualifying ID and cannot obtain one,” Judge Hovland of the U.S. District Court, North Dakota, blocked the enforcement of the voter ID law and expanded the valid forms of voter identification while the case is under review.

Subsequently, the State of North Dakota asked the Court of Appeals to stay Judge Hovland’s order and allow the discriminatory voter ID law to continue to be used while the case continues. Today’s order denied that request.

Native American Rights Fund Staff Attorney Matthew Campbell, lead attorney on the case, commended the court’s decision, “Today’s order by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ensures that Judge Hovland’s order remains in place and that all qualified voters will be able to vote in the primary election next Tuesday. Changing the rules on the eve of the election would only have sowed confusion about what rules apply. The Eighth Circuit saw that and upheld Judge Hovland’s order.”

The plaintiffs in Brakebill, et al. v. Jaeger are represented by the Native American Rights Fund, Richard de Bodo of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and Tom Dickson of the Dickson Law Office.

Read more about this case.