Nick Krieger (@nckrieger):
Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson informed the United States Supreme Court ("SCOTUS") that they needed action on their emergency application for a stay in the Michigan straight-party voting case by the end of the day on September 8th. It is now September 9th, and SCOTUS has not ruled.
As I wrote last week, it is uncommon for SCOTUS to stay a District Court's preliminary injunction when the U.S. Court of Appeals has not yet ruled on the merits. However, it's certainly not unprecedented.
As you may recall, District Judge Gershwin Drain issued the preliminary injunction in July, enjoining the enforcement of 2015 PA 268 (Michigan's new law eliminating straight-party voting). A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied Schuette's motion for a stay pending appeal, and the Sixth Circuit subsequently denied Schuette's petition to consider the matter en banc.
Schuette then filed his emergency application with SCOTUS, addressed to Circuit Justice Elena Kagan. As noted, he requested action by September 8th.
It is not clear whether SCOTUS's silence equates to a constructive denial of Schuette's application or not. Of course, the Supreme Court could still issue an order before Friday morning, or even over the weekend or next week. But any ruling after the start of the workday on Friday will probably be too late to matter. Given that Schuette's and Johnson's self-imposed deadline has passed, it seems highly unlikely that SCOTUS will be granting the requested relief in this case.
It is 9:00 am on Friday, and SCOTUS still has not ruled in the case. Thus, as of this morning, it appears that straight-party voting will remain an option on this November's ballot in Michigan.
SCOTUS has entered an order, over the dissent of Justices Thomas and Alito, denying Schuette's emergency application for a stay in this case. Therefore, straight-party voting will remain an option in this November's Michigan election.