In the Wisconsin case, a federal district judge in late September tacked six days onto the state’s deadline for receiving absentee ballots. Prior to the judge’s ruling, Wisconsin had an Election Day deadline for absentee ballots, naturally enough and like most other states.
It was the district court that overstepped its bounds and interfered in Wisconsin’s election, not Kavanaugh, who voted simply to restore the status quo prior to this judicial intervention.
Kavanaugh’s argument that “the rules of the road should be clear and settled” prior to the election would seem obvious. Does anyone think it’s better if they are confused and uncertain and changing at the last minute?
As Kavanaugh notes, a preference for rules established well ahead of time accords with the so-called Purcell principle against late changes imposed by courts. That refers to the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2006 case Purcell v. Gonzalez, when it overturned an appeals court decision blocking an Arizona voter ID law. The Supreme Court cited “the imminence of the election” and “the necessity for clear guidance to the State of Arizona.”