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Judge suggests conflict of interest in hearing election law case, moves to recuse himself

Staff Report
May 08. 2018 9:25PM

NASHUA - The judge in the lawsuit over the state's recently passed election law, Senate Bill 3, has said he will recuse himself from the case now that the state has hired an outside attorney whom he considers a close friend.

Judge Charles Temple made the announcement on Monday during a status conference on the case.

“Judge Temple informed all of us that he is a close personal friend with (attorney) Bryan Gould, who we'd retained to help us in this case,” said Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards. “He believes that he is going to need to recuse himself though he is having all of us brief the issues by Friday.”

Gould has been a partner in the Concord law firm of Cleveland, Waters and Bass since 2012.

The lawsuit filed against the state by the N.H. Democratic Party and the League of Women Voters over SB 3 is still continuing at the Superior Court in Nashua, although the state has filed petitions seeking state Supreme Court rulings on some key issues.

A bench trial in front of Temple had been scheduled for August, but that might have to be changed if a new judge is appointed.

SB 3 establishes new verification requirements for Election Day voter registration, which opponents claim place an unfair burden on young, low-income and minority voters.

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