October 31, 2020
On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit ruled that, under Minnesota law, any ballot received after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day will not be counted. The court’s reasoning was that the legislature had determined that that was the deadline, and that Minnesota’s Secretary of State — who had sought to extend the deadline — did not have the authority, even in times of pandemic, to extend the deadline. In fact, the court wrote, “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution.”
You may or may not agree with the ruling, but it strikes me that if there is “no pandemic exception to the Consitution,” then there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution.
I seem to recall something in the 6th Amendment guaranteeing all criminal defendants the right to a speedy trial. Can we assume the court will, with the same zeal, safeguard that right against pandemic-related exceptions?
Asking for a friend.