The Significance of the Shift Toward As-Applied Challenges in Election Law

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Election law is experiencing immense change. The Supreme Court’s recent approach to election law cases has significant implications for the scope of the right to vote and the meaning of political participation and self-governance. This Article examines the importance of the Court’s recent pronouncement that plaintiffs can bring election law challenges only as applied to a particular political actor for a particular situation, instead of challenging a law in its entirety. 1 The “as-applied only” rule may seem like simply a procedural method for construing election laws or a mere semantic distinction, but, as I show, in reality the Court’s decisions have significant substantive ramifications.

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