Fwd: Re: Student voter registration

Johnson Jr., Paul C. - OALJ JohnsonJr.Paul at dol.gov
Fri Oct 31 11:13:26 PDT 2008

Perhaps people are confusing "indefinitely" with "permanently."  An
intention to remain "indefinitely" means only that there is no present
intent to leave at a time certain.  Those who spend their lives moving
every couple of years - even those in the military - do not necessarily
intend to leave when they first arrive at a new location, even if it's
likely that they will leave at some time in the future.


Paul Johnson

List Reader


-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Howard Schweber
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 1:56 PM
To: Edward A Hartnett
Cc: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu; conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Student voter registration



>  Further, a domicile once

> established continues unless and until a new one is acquired.

> Consequently, there is a presumption in favor of an established

> that must be overcome by a party seeking to show a change in domicle.




Sure, which only points to the fact that Earl's description of 

"intention to remain indefinitely" is too simply by half.  The real 

definition goes something like this:


"domicile is the last location in which a person established an 

intention to remain indefinitely as an adult, or in the absence of such 

a location the last domicile of their parents as a minor."


Which leads to some odd results.  If I leave home for college, and then 

spend the rest of my life moving every couple of years and never 

establish an intention to remain anywhere indefinitely -- say I follow 

seasonal contracts -- presumably I may retain my parents' domicile for 

the rest of my life.


The real points, of course, are two:


1) different states define the specific rules differently, so quoting 

"hornbook law" definitions out of Blackstone is not really very helpful,


2)  It would be unacceptable to have a rule that would result in the 

existence of a class of U.S. citizens who are not able to vote anywhere.



So at that point the question is either purely descriptive -- what is 

the law in a particular state?  (my personal thanks to Michael Massinter

for supplying Ohio's statutory definitions) -- or it is normative.  Earl

Malz's call for "outrage" has obvious normative elements.  So let's 

think about this.


The whole point of voter qualifications is to ensure that the people who

will be governed by officials are the ones who elect them.  Students who

plan to spend four, five, or more years in a state will be governed by 

the officials elected in that state for at least 9 months out of every 

12.  Students may be in that position for the entirety of the elected 

officials' terms (in the case of representatives) or some portion 

thereof.  Regardless, from a democratic perspective the "outrage" should

be directed at those who would attempt to compel otherwise qualified 

U.S. citizens to live in a jurisdiction in which they are governed by 

officials in whose elections they had no say whatsoever. 









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