Updated Oct 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

A man walks up the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Of note: Liberal Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

  • The lower court judge ruled in favor of a lawsuit arguing that curbside voting would "violate federal laws designed to protect America’s most marginalized citizens."

What they're saying: In her dissenting opinion, Sotomayor wrote,"We should not substitute the District Court's reasonable, record-based findings of fact with our own intuitions about the risks of traditional in-person voting during this pandemic or the ability of willing local officials to implement adequate curbside voting procedures."

The big picture: The pandemic has seen the 2020 elections fight spill into courtrooms across the country, including the Supreme Court.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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