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The State of Reform
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President Trump and first lady Melania Trump pay their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Thursday. The looming fight over her replacement threatens further damage to our democracy, writes Troiano.

Court fight warning: Break the doom loop or it will soon break us

Troiano is executive director of Unite America, which promotes an array of electoral reforms and helps finance other advocacy organizations, and political candidates, with a commitment to cross-partisanship. (It is a donor to The Fulcrum.)

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Balance of Power
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A new court should settle disputes between Congress and the president

Coleman was an assistant Missouri attorney general and Republican congressman from 1976 to 1993. Now retired as a lobbyist, he is an advisor to Protect Democracy, an anti-authoritarian watchdog group.

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Rhode Islanders will not be required to get witnesses to sign their mail-in ballots this fall.

Supreme Court upholds easier R.I. voting, breaking a string of rebuffs

The Supreme Court for the first time on Thursday came down on the side of relaxing a burden on voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

But the justices made clear their decision — which will allow Rhode Islanders to vote absentee without a witness this fall — was a purposeful exception to their reasoning in an unbroken string of seven rulings since the spring, each of which has kept the exercise of democracy difficult in the face of a public health crisis.

Unlike the other cases, where a state was fighting easements to its rules, Rhode Island officials had already agreed to settle a lawsuit by relaxing its unusually strict mail-in requirements for the September primary and general election. That left the Republican Party, which sued to reverse the deal on the grounds it would promote election cheating, no legal leg to stand on, the court said.

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Montana's tough donor disclosure law survives at Supreme Court

Oregon remapping bid dies at Supreme Court, now 0-7 on easing democracy during Covid

The Supreme Court has extended its unbroken string of rulings against making it easier to be part of the democratic process during the pandemic.

The justices on Tuesday blocked a lower court's ruling that it should be easier for Oregon's redistricting reform advocates to collect signatures during the national health crisis. The decision means there won't be a referendum on the November ballot that would take the power to draw congressional and legislative maps away from the Democratic powers in Salem and turn it over to a new citizens' redistricting commission — the top goal of crusaders against partisan gerrymandering.

It's the latest of seven cases since this spring where the conservative-majority high court has ruled against groups seeking relaxed ballot rules because of the coronavirus. It has not ruled once in favor of such an effort.

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