Former Obama Solicitor General Joins Legal Battle Over Delaware Election Laws


President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware has sought the expertise of former Obama administration Solicitor General Don Verrilli to advocate for lenient election laws in the state.

For Biden, who has criticized election security laws in states like Georgia as “Jim Crow 2.0,” looser election regulations are more favorable.

However, Delaware, the president’s home state, lacks universal mail voting and same-day registration after the Delaware Supreme Court deemed both practices unconstitutional in 2022. On Wednesday, the state’s highest court heard a case challenging Delaware’s early voting period and permanent absentee voter list, following a lower court ruling that both violated the state constitution.

Biden, who once recognized the risks of same-day voter registration, stated in 1977 — during his tenure as a Delaware senator — that such a proposal “could lead to a serious increase in vote fraud.” Nowadays, however, safeguarding elections seems less appealing to Biden, as weak election laws benefit Democrats’ chances of winning.

It’s noteworthy that Verrilli, a prominent figure from the Obama administration known for arguing cases like Obamacare and Obergefell before the U.S. Supreme Court, has been brought in to contest the state-level challenge, which could be an embarrassment to the president.

Opening arguments commenced Wednesday in the Delaware Supreme Court, with the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) and former Delaware Attorney General Jane Brady contending that state laws allowing early voting and permanent absentee voting contravene the Delaware Constitution. The state legislature enacted a law in 2019 permitting early in-person voting at least 10 days before Election Day. This law was overturned by the Superior Court, which determined that the state’s constitution mandates the general election to be held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

The court also ruled that a 2010 state statute allowing “permanent absentee status” was unconstitutional because “the constitution only allows for absentee voting with strict restrictions on eligibility,” as explained in a PILF press release.

Voters with permanent absentee status can receive an absentee ballot every election year “without consideration of the applicant’s eligibility in each subsequent election,” according to PILF.

Verrilli, representing the state, argued that other states with similar constitutional provisions have managed to operate with practices like early and permanent absentee voting.

A group of left-leaning attorneys general have also rallied to defend Delaware’s laws, already deemed unconstitutional by a lower court.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who signed an amicus brief supporting the Delaware laws, acknowledges that the Delaware Constitution explicitly defines “Election Day” as the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, but argues that this does not prevent the state from enacting contrary legislation.

Bonta asserts that the intent of these lenient election laws is to enhance the “opportunity” for voters to “participate” in the electoral process.

Brianna Lyman
Brianna Lyman
Elections correspondent. Weekly guest on Newsmax. Also seen on Fox Nation.

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