ICYMI: PILF Argued Before Delaware Supreme Court

This month, PILF argued before the Delaware Supreme Court on the constitutionality of early voting and permanent absentee voting. These laws conflict with the Delaware Constitution which designates one day for Election Day and only allows for absentee voting in specific instances.

Delaware hired the former Solicitor General, Don Verrelli, to defend the state’s unconstitutional voting practices. This is the same attorney who argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on key cases in the Obama years including the constitutionality of Obamacare and gay marriage.

After the oral argument, PILF President J. Christian Adams gave a brief update on how the hearing went.


In 2019, the Delaware General Assembly passed a law that permitted early voting in person at least 10 days before the general election day. The Superior Court ruled early voting violates the state’s constitution, which requires the general election to be held on one specific day.

Additionally, a Delaware statute permitted registrants to apply to the Department of Elections for “permanent absentee status.” The law granted an individual eligibility to vote by absentee ballot in perpetuity, without consideration of the applicant’s eligibility in each subsequent election. The Superior Court ruled this statute violates the state constitution because the constitution only allows for absentee voting with strict restrictions on eligibility. The state’s lower court sided with PILF, holding that permanent absentee voting conflicted with the state constitution.

To learn more about the case, you can access court documents in Mennella v. Albence here. A factsheet on the lawsuit is available here.


In 2022, PILF represented Michael Mennella in a successful lawsuit challenging the state’s law that allowed for universal vote by mail and same-day voter registration. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that both election practices were prohibited under the Delaware Constitution.

These cases will restore the rule of law in Delaware’s elections.

Public Interest Legal Foundation