WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court turned down on Tuesday a request from officials in Ohio to block an Appeals Court ruling concerning early voting there. The Supreme Court’s brief order, without noted dissents, was a victory for the Obama campaign.
Ohio had planned to eliminate early voting the weekend before the election next month, but it made an exception for members of the military. Earlier this month, the federal Appeals Court in Cincinnati ruled that the option of voting early must be offered to all voters if it is offered to the military.
The Obama campaign, which brought the lawsuit, had argued that poor and minority voters often vote the weekend before Election Day.
The campaign issued a statement soon after the ruling was disclosed.
‘‘This action from the highest court in the land marks the end of the road in our fight to ensure open voting this year for all Ohioans, including military, veterans, and overseas voters,’’ the statement read.
The Supreme Court’s action left local election officials free to allow early voting or not. But if they allow it, they must welcome all voters.
Following the decision, Ohio’s secretary of state gave up on Republican efforts to restrict the broader voting and directed local voting boards to stay open several hours each day throughout the weekend and the Monday before the election.
Writing in Slate on Monday, Richard L. Hasen, an election law specialist at the University of California, said the Supreme Court’s action in the Ohio case, Husted v. Obama for America, ‘‘could help determine who will win the White House.’’ - NEW YORK TIMES
Super PAC pours $11.1m into TV ads
NEW YORK — A Republican-leaning super PAC supporting Mitt Romney’s presidential bid is spending $11.1 million on new television ads aimed at women.
The ad campaign, set to begin Tuesday and run for a week in eight closely contested states, is part of a big push before the Nov. 6 election.
Polls have shown President Obama with a wide lead over Romney among women, but some surveys suggest that gap has narrowed.
The ad, ‘‘Sack It,’’ shows a woman watching one of Obama’s campaign commercials. ‘‘Mr. President, here’s what I want to know,’’ she says, asking about the jobs he has promised to create and wondering what the federal spending he has pushed for has produced.
She ends by saying: ‘‘My family can’t afford another four years like this.’’ The line echoes a theme Romney has repeated several times on the campaign trail in recent weeks — ‘‘We can’t afford four more years like the last four years.’’
Steven Law, president of American Crossroads, the group behind the ad, said in statement that Obama’s ‘‘weak leadership has created a weak economy and a weaker America, and it’s time to turn this ship around.’’
The group planned to air the new ad on national and local cable stations, and in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.
American Crossroads was cofounded by Karl Rove, the longtime political counselor to former President George W. Bush.
The group and its affiliated nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, plan to spend $300 million to influence elections this year. The groups have spent $135 million on ads so far to back Romney.
The Crossroads groups are some of the biggest players in a constellation of independent organizations and political committees.
The groups can raise and spend unlimited sums to run ads on behalf of candidates as long as they do not directly coordinate with the candidates they support. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
Democrats slam Boehner for defending marriage law
WASHINGTON — The House’s top two Democrats criticized Republicans for spending nearly $1.5 million over the past 15 months on outside lawyers to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and number two Democrat Steny Hoyer said House Speaker John Boehner is wasting taxpayer money in defending the 1996 law. The law signed by President Clinton denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and affirms the right of states to refuse to recognize such marriages. President Obama said last year the Justice Department would no longer defend the law’s constitutionality. After that, Boehner convened the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to defend it. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
Philadelphia parking agency shows no love to Justice Scalia
PHILADELPHIA — Even if you are driving a member of the country’s highest court, run afoul of the Philadelphia Parking Authority and you will find a ticket on your windshield.
Just ask Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The National Constitution Center reported on its ‘‘Constitution Daily’’ blog that Scalia was in town Monday to appear at the Union League, a tony private club downtown.
The car in which Scalia was driven to the event was ticketed despite a Supreme Court ‘‘Police Official Business’’ placard on its dashboard.
It was not clear what kind of parking regulation was involved.
The Constitution Center wryly noted that although Scalia is among the Supreme Court’s conservative judges, the parking ticket is nonpartisan.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority is one of the few Republican-dominated institutions in a city dominated by Democrats. - ASSOCIATED PRESS