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Fix the Court

Fix the Court is a national, nonpartisan organization that advocates for non-ideological "fixes" that would make the federal courts, and primarily the U.S. Supreme Court, more open and more accountable to the American people.
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Throughout history, the Supreme Court has played an integral role in shaping American elections.

7 Supreme Court cases that have shaped American elections

The recent Supreme Court rulings on voting rights and election transparency have once again highlighted the enormous power the judicial branch has over the country's electoral process.

Last week, the court's conservative majority upheld a pair of voting laws that tightened the rules in Arizona. In a separate ruling, the justices struck down California's law requiring charitable nonprofits to privately disclose their top donors to the state attorney general. Both cases could have larger implications for the future of American democracy.

Throughout history, the Supreme Court has played an integral role in shaping how voters are represented, ballots are cast and elections are financed. Here are seven landmark cases from the last six decades:

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If we were to institute term limits on Supreme Court justices, there wouldn't be a political debate over Stephen Breyer's future, according to Collins and Ward.

Should the Supreme Court have term limits?

Collins is a professor of legal studies and political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ward is a professor of political science at Northern Illinois University.

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The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that a 2017 voter registration law must be stricken in its entirety.

New Hampshire's top court strikes down complicated voter registration law

The New Hampshire Supreme Court last week struck down four-year-old voter registration rules, finding they imposed "unreasonable burdens on the right to vote."

In a unanimous 4-0 decision on Friday, the court concurred with a lower court's ruling that found the law unconstitutional, and therefore must be stricken in its entirety. Critics said the law made the state's voter registration process convoluted and confusing, especially for college students.

This victory for voting rights advocates came on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that some decried as particularly damaging to minority voters. On Thursday, the high court's conservative majority ruled to uphold two restrictive voting laws in Arizona.

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On Thursday, the Supreme Court closed out its term by delivering decisions on cases related to voting rights and nonprofit donor disclosure.

Supreme Court upholds voting restrictions, strikes down donor disclosure

The Supreme Court on Thursday dealt dual blows to voting rights and election transparency advocates.

In its final two opinions of the term, the court upheld two restrictive voting laws in Arizona and struck down a nonprofit donor disclosure rule in California. In both decisions, the justices ruled 6-3, along ideological lines.

Good-government groups decried both rulings, expressing concern over the larger implications they could have moving forward. The court's ruling in the Arizona case could make it harder to challenge potentially discriminatory voting rules, and eliminating California's donor disclosure rule could make it harder for the state to prevent fraud.

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