Supreme Court Upholds Clear and Convincing Standard for Invalidity but with a Twist

A unanimous Supreme Court has rejected Microsoft’s argument that a lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard should apply to patent invalidity challenges. The Supreme Court, in last week’s Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Limited Partnership decision, reaffirmed the longstanding principle that a party challenging the validity of a patent must present “clear and convincing” evidence of invalidity.

The Supreme Court first established this heightened burden in the 1934 case of Radio Corp. of America v. Radio Engineering Labs, Inc. 293 U.S. 1 (1934). There, the Supreme Court held that invalidation required “clear and cogent evidence” to overturn an issued patent. The Patent Act later codified this heightened burden in 35 U.S.C. § 282, explaining that a patent “shall be presumed valid.”

Microsoft argued that the Court’s settled interpretation of Section 282 was incorrect and that the presumption of validity does not establish the need for “clear and convincing” evidence to invalidate a patent.

Relying on almost a century of precedent, the Supreme Court disagreed:

[B]y the time Congress enacted § 282 and declared that a patent is “presumed valid,” the presumption of patent validity had long been a fixture of the common law. According to its settled meaning, a defendant raising an invalidity defense [bears] “a heavy burden of persuasion,” requiring proof of the defense by clear and convincing evidence.

The Court also disagreed with Microsoft’s alternative argument—that the presumption of validity should be weakened when a party challenges a patent using art not before the Patent Office during prosecution. According to the Court, invalidity of a patent must always be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

An interesting twist comes in the Court’s recognition that “new evidence” of invalidity likely carries more weight than evidence already considered by the Patent Office. The Court references with approval the jury instruction given in the 1993 case of Mendenhall v. Cedarrapids, Inc. that states:

Because the deference to be given the Patent Office’s determination is related to the evidence it had before it, you should consider the evidence presented to the Patent Office during the [] application process, compare it with the evidence you have heard in this case, and then determine what weight to give the Patent Office’s determinations.5 F.3d 1557 (Fed. Cir. 1993).

The Court explained that “[a] jury may be instructed to evaluate whether the evidence before it is materially new, and if so, to consider that fact when determining whether an invalidity defense has been proved by clear and convincing evidence.” Put differently, the Court recognized that a jury may properly give evidence of “new” prior art special weight in deciding whether the clear and convincing standard has been met.

On the whole, the Court’s ruling on the clear and convincing evidence standard can be viewed as a pro-patent decision (contrary to several of the Court’s other recent decisions, like KSR (obviousness), MedImmune (declaratory judgment jurisdiction), and eBay (permanent injunctions)). Yet, its explicit acknowledgement of the role which “new” prior art can have may give accused infringers and their defense counsel some degree of satisfaction. Using “new” prior art not considered by the Patent Office during prosecution, along with the benefit of good jury instructions emphasizing the proper place of this “new” prior art, defendants may improve their chances of invalidating asserted patents.

Advertisements

Supreme Court Unanimously Maintains High Hurdle for Invalidity Defense

June 9th, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled1 that an accused infringer must prove its invalidity defense by clear and convincing evidence. Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Ltd. P’ship, — S. Ct. — 564 U.S. —, 2011 WL 2224428, slip op. at 1, 16 (June 9, 2011).2 In a case of first impression, the Court determined that this standard applies even when the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“Patent Office”) did not consider the evidence of invalidity currently before the jury in the patent examination process. Id. The hurdle for proving invalidity historically has been high and now remains high.

According to Justice Sotomayor (who wrote for the majority), “Congress specified the applicable standard of proof in 1952 when it codified the common-law presumption of patent validity.” Id. at 20. “Nothing . . . suggests that Congress meant to depart from that understanding to enact a standard of proof that would rise and fall with the facts of each case.” This decision thus keeps in place decades of existing jurisprudence and will continue to allow patent owners to value their portfolios based on past practices. Although accused infringers can take certain steps to minimize negative effects of the clear-and-convincing standard, “[a]ny recalibration of the standard of proof” is now solely in the hands of Congress. Id.

Historical Basis of Proving Invalidity

To receive patent protection, a claimed invention must meet the statutory requirements of patentability. The claimed invention, for example, must fall within certain patentable subject matter (§ 101), be novel (§ 102), be nonobvious (§ 103), and be disclosed in the patent application in sufficient detail to meet the enablement, best mode, and written description requirements (§ 112). Thus, the Patent Office issues a patent for a claimed invention only if its examiners determine that the claimed invention meets all of the statutory requirements. Once issued, a patent holder has the exclusive right to exclude others from using the claimed invention for the term of the patent.

An accused infringer, however, can escape liability for infringement by proving that the patent is invalid (i.e., that the Patent Office should not have issued it in the first place). Under § 282, however, “[a] patent shall be presumed valid” and “[t]he burden of establishing invalidity of a patent . . . rest[s] on the party asserting such invalidity.” 35 U.S.C. § 282. For over thirty years, the Federal Circuit has interpreted that section to require “a defendant seeking to overcome this presumption [to] persuade the factfinder of its invalidity defense by clear and convincing evidence.” Microsoft Corp., 2011 WL 2224428, slip op. at 3. According to Judge Rich, a principal drafter of the 1952 Patent Act, “Section 282 creates a presumption that a patent is valid and imposes the burden of proving invalidity on the attacker” by clear and convincing evidence. Am. Hoist & Derrick Co. v. Sowa & Sons, Inc., 725 F.3d 1350, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 1984). “That burden is consistent and never changes.” Id.

Microsoft Unsuccessfully Challenged Federal Circuit’s Long-Standing Precedent

In 2007, i4i sued Microsoft claiming that Microsoft Word infringed its patent for an improved method for editing computer documents. Microsoft Corp., 2011 WL 2224428, slip op. at 4. In addition to denying infringement, Microsoft argued that § 102(b)’s on-sale bar rendered i4i’s patent invalid due to i4i’s sale of a software program, S4, prior to the filing of the i4i patent application. Id. The parties agreed that i4i had sold the S4 program prior to the filing of the patent at issue but looked to the jury to determine whether S4 embodied the claimed invention. Id. Relying on the undisputed fact that S4 was never presented to the Patent Office, Microsoft objected to i4i’s proposed instruction requiring the jury find proof of invalidity by clear and convincing evidence. Id. In its place, Microsoft requested a jury instruction limiting its burden of proof, “with regard to its defense of invalidity based on prior art that the examiner did not review during the prosecution of the patent-in-suit” to a “preponderance of the evidence.” Id. at 6 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

The District Court rejected Microsoft’s proposed instruction and instructed the jury that “Microsoft has the burden of proving invalidity by clear and convincing evidence.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Based on this instruction, the jury found that Microsoft had willfully infringed i4i’s patent and that Microsoft had failed to prove its invalidity defense. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed, concluding that “the jury instructions were correct in light of [the] court’s precedent, which requires the challenger to prove invalidity by clear and convincing evidence.” i4i Ltd. P’ship v. Microsoft Corp., 598 F.3d 831, 848 (Fed. Cir. 2010).

Supreme Court Rejected Microsoft’s Arguments—Invalidity Must Be Proved by Clear and Convincing Evidence

Microsoft sought certiorari from the Supreme Court as to (1) whether “a defendant in an infringement action need only persuade the jury of an invalidity defense by a preponderance of the evidence” and (2) whether “a preponderance standard must apply at least when an invalidity defense rests on evidence that was never considered by the [Patent Office] in the examination process.” Id. at 5-6. The answer to both of Microsoft’s questions is a clear and unqualified no.

In reaching this decision, the Court started with a common axiom of statutory interpretation: “Where Congress has prescribed the governing standard of proof, its choice controls absent ‘countervailing constitutional constraints.'” Id. at 6 (citing Steadman v. SEC, 450 U.S. 91, 95 (1981)). It then asked the next logical question—”whether Congress made such a choice” when it enacted § 282. To answer this question, the Court first analyzed the plain language of statute. The Court noted that the statute “establishes a presumption of patent validity, and it provides that a challenger must overcome that presumption to prevail on an invalidity defense”; however, the Court recognized that “it includes no express articulation of the standard of proof.” Id. Nevertheless, the Court concluded that Congress used the term “presumed valid” according to its settled meaning in the common law—a term encompassing “not only an allocation of the burden of proof but also an imposition of a heightened standard of proof.” Id. at 7-8.3

“The common-law presumption, in other words, reflected the universal understanding that a preponderance standard of proof was too ‘dubious’ a basis to deem a patent invalid.” Microsoft Corp., 2011 WL 2224428, slip op. at 8. Accordingly, when Congress declared that a patent is “presumed valid,” “the presumption encompassed not only an allocation of the burden of proof but also an imposition of a heightened standard of proof.” Id. Based on this wide-spread understanding of the common law term, the Court refused to conclude “that Congress intended to drop the heightened standard of proof from the presumption simply because § 282 fails to reiterate it expressly.” Id. at 9 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Rather, the Court concluded that it “‘must presume that Congress intended to incorporate’ the heightened standard of proof, ‘unless the statute otherwise directs.'” Id. (quoting Neder v. United States, 527 U.S. 1, 23 (1999)). Simply put, “[t]he language Congress selected reveals its intent not only to specify that the defendant bears the burden of providing invalidity but also that the evidence in support of the defense must be clear and convincing.” Id. at 12 n.7.

Notably, the Court rejected Microsoft’s attempts to distinguish nearly century’s worth of otherwise clear case law: “Squint as we may, we fail to see the qualifications that Microsoft purports to identify in our cases.” Id. at 10. Likewise, the Court rejected Microsoft’s argument that the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of § 282 must fail, because applying that interpretation of the phrase “presumed valid” renders superfluous the statute’s additional phrase, “[t]he burden of establishing invalidity of a patent . . . shall rest on the party asserting such invalidity.” Id. at 12. Although Justice Sotomayor (writing for the majority) seems to agree with Microsoft that the Federal Circuit’s interpretation renders some of the statute superfluous, the Court reminded Microsoft that “the canon against superfluity assists only where a competing interpretation gives effect ‘to every clause and word of a statute.'” Id. (citing Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 174 (2001)). The Court thus found the rule inapplicable here, where “no interpretation of § 282—including the two alternatives advanced by Microsoft—avoids excess language.” Id. at 13.

In addressing Microsoft’s second, more limited argument, the Court rejected Microsoft’s request for a variable standard of proof:

Our pre-1952 cases never adopted or endorsed the kind of fluctuating standard of proof that Microsoft envisions. And they do not indicate, even in dicta, that anything less than a clear-and-convincing standard would ever apply to an invalidity defense raised in an infringement action. . . . Nothing in § 282’s text suggests that Congress meant to depart from that understanding to enact a standard of proof that would rise and fall with the facts of each case.

Id. at 15-16.

Accused Infringers Have Options

The accused infringer, however, is not without options. Although the Court steadfastly affirmed the heightened standard of proof, it recognized that “new evidence supporting an invalidity defense may carry more weight in an infringement action than evidence previously considered by the [Patent Office].” Id. at 17. Indeed, the Patent Office’s judgment may lose significant force if it did not have all the material facts before it. Id. In turn, this may make it easier for the accused infringer to satisfy its burden (e.g., to use the new evidence to persuade the jury of a patent’s invalidity by clear and convincing evidence). Id. Accordingly, if faced with new evidence of invalidity, an accused infringer should consider taking the following actions:

  1. Request a jury instruction on the effect of new evidence not considered by the Patent Office. When requested, such an instruction “most often should be given.” Id. “When warranted, the jury may be instructed to consider that it has heard evidence that the [Patent Office] had no opportunity to evaluate before granting the patented.” Id.
  2. If the parties dispute whether the evidence presented to the jury differs from the evidence previously before the Patent Office, seek an instruction mandating that the jury consider that question. Id. at 18. “The jury may be instructed to evaluate whether the evidence before it is materially new, and if so, to consider that fact when determining whether an invalidity defense has been proved by clear and convincing evidence.” Id. (citing Mendenhall v. Cedarapids, Inc., 5 F.3d 1557, 1563-64 (Fed. Cir. 1993)).
  3. Remember that the clear and convincing standard of proof is an evidentiary standard that applies only to questions of fact to the trial court. Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Ltd. P’ship, — S. Ct. — 564 U.S. —, 2011 WL 2224428, at *12 (June 9, 2011) (Breyer, J., concurring). Accordingly, separate “factual and legal aspects of an invalidity claim . . . by using instructions based on case-specific circumstances that help the jury make the distinction.” Id. at *13. In addition, use interrogatories and special verdicts “to make clear which specific factual findings underlie the jury’s conclusions.” Id. “By preventing the ‘clear and convincing’ standard from roaming outside its fact-related reservation, courts can increase the likelihood that discoveries or inventions will not receive legal protection where none is due.” Id.

Conclusion

Despite Microsoft’s valiant challenge, yesterday’s unanimous opinion keeps the hurdle high for parties trying to show that a patent is invalid. Although accused infringers are not without their options, any modification of the clear and convincing standard itself now requires an Act of Congress.

___________________
1All eight participating Justices concurred in the judgment.  Justice Sotomayor delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, and Kagan joined.  Justice Breyer filed a concurring opinion, in which Justices Scalia and Alito joined.  Although Justice Breyer joined the Justice Sotomayor opinion in full, he wrote separately to emphasize that the clear and convincing standard of proof applies only to questions of fact, not to questions of law.  Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring only in the judgment.  According to Justice Thomas, the heightened standard of proof applies because § 292 is silent and therefore does not alter the common-law rule.  Chief Justice Roberts took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
2This case marks the third patent-law case released by the Supreme Court during the past two weeks.  Earlier this week, the Court ruled that the Bayh-Dole Act does not eclipse inventors’ rights. See Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior Univ. v. Roche Molecular Sys., 563 U.S. —, 2011 WL 2175210 (June 5, 2011).  On May 31, 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that induced infringement of a patent required knowledge that the induced acts constituted patent infringement.  See Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., — S. Ct. —, 2011 WL 2119109 (May 31, 2011).  Each of these cases affirmed the Federal Circuit.
3Indeed, the Court concluded that by the time Congress enacted the 1952 Patent Act, “a common core of thought” unified the decisions of courts across the country:

“[O]ne otherwise an infringer who assails the validity of a patent fair upon its face bears a heavy burden of persuasion, and fails unless his evidence has more than a dubious preponderance.  If that is true where the assailant connects himself in some way with the title of the true inventor, it is so a fortiori where he is a stranger to the [claimed] invention, without claim of title of his own.  If it is true where the assailant launches his attack with evidence different, at least in form, from any theretofore produced in opposition to the patent, it is so a bit more clearly where the evidence is even verbally the same.”

Id. (citing Radio Corp. of Am. v. Radio Eng’r Labs, Inc., 293 U.S. 1, 8 (1934).  As Justice Cardozo put it, “there is a presumption of validity, a presumption not to be overthrown except by clear and cogent evidence.”  Radio Corp. of Am., 293 U.S. at 2.

Personal Jurisdiction Lacking Despite Twenty Internet Users from Forum State Signing Up for Defendant’s Website

Considering whether a New Jersey website operator was subject to personal jurisdiction in Illinois, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that for personal jurisdiction to arise, a defendant must in some way target the forum state’s market in addition to operating an interactive website that is accessible from the forum state.  be2 LLC v. Ivanov, Case No.10-2980 (7th Cir., Apr. 27, 2011) (Hamilton, J.)

The plaintiffs operated an international internet dating website at the domain name be2.com.  The plaintiff’s U.S. affiliate was located in Delaware.  Defendant Nikolay Ivanov, an individual alleged to be the co-founder of a competing internet dating website, was located in New Jersey.  The plaintiffs brought a federal trademark infringement action against Ivanov in Illinois, based upon his operating of an internet dating website at the domain name be2.net.  The district court entered default judgment against Ivanov after the defendant failed to answer the complaint and attend a scheduled status hearing.  Ivanov appeared for the first time through counsel after the entry of default judgment against him, filing a motion to vacate the judgment as void for want of personal jurisdiction.  Ivanov argued that he was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Illinois because, among other things, he was not the co-founder or CEO of the competing internet dating company and he had never set foot in Illinois.  Ivanov’s sworn declaration, however, contained several unbelievable representations.  For example, the defendant claimed that the website reference to him as “CEO” actually meant to communicate that he was the website’s “Centralized Expert Operator,” who merely translated content on the website from Bulgarian to English.  The district court denied Ivanov’s motion, and he appealed.

Although the Seventh Circuit recognized that Ivanov’s declaration contained “preposterous” claims, the court nonetheless reversed the district court and remanded the case with instructions to vacate the judgment and dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.  The court performed a “minimum contacts” analysis to determine whether personal jurisdiction was proper.  Toward the “purposeful availment” factor, the court considered whether Ivanov had “purposely exploited the Illinois market” to determine if his contacts with the state were sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction.  The plaintiffs had submitted evidence showing that 20 persons who listed Illinois addresses had at some point created free dating profiles on Ivanov’s website.  Even assuming that those 20 individuals were active users of Ivanov’s website and were actually located in Illinois, the court determined that such contacts, without more, were attenuated contacts that did not subject the defendant to personal jurisdiction in Illinois.  In so holding, the court noted that there was no evidence of any interactions between Ivanov and the 20 individuals.  Further, the court reasoned that the evidence submitted showed that the 20 individuals may have created their dating profiles unilaterally by simply stumbling upon Ivanov’s website and clicking a button that automatically published their dating preferences online.  Without additional evidence showing that the defendant targeted or exploited the Illinois market, the court could not find that Ivanov availed himself of the privilege of doing business in the state.

What Third-Party Retaliation Means for Your Business

The U.S. Supreme Court recently expanded retaliation law in Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP by holding that an employee may sue for “third-party retaliation” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Third-party retaliation occurs when an employer takes an “adverse employment action” (e.g., discharge or demotion) against someone other than the person who engaged in statutorily “protected activity” (e.g., filed a discrimination charge or lawsuit). Even before this decision, “retaliation” was the most prevalent charge at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), representing 36.3% of total filings in 2010. Race discrimination charges ranked second at 35.9%, while sex discrimination charges were third at 29.1%.

Title VII prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee because he or she has “opposed” unlawful discrimination or “has made a charge, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or litigation under this chapter.” These are known as the “opposition” and “participation” clauses of Title VII. Filing a charge of discrimination is plainly “protected activity” under this definition. In Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, TN, decided in 2009, the Supreme Court held that the “opposition” clause protects an employee who reports or opposes discrimination when answering an employer’s questions during an internal investigation. The Supreme Court has not yet addressed whether an employee’s mere participation in an internal investigation constitutes “protected activity” under the “participation” clause of Title VII when the employee has no knowledge of discrimination and the investigation is purely internal (i.e., unrelated to a discrimination charge or lawsuit).

For employers, the Supreme Court’s Thompson decision has ramifications for you in circumstances you may not have foreseen. For example, if one of your female employees files a sex discrimination charge with the EEOC and you fire her brother six weeks later, that could give rise to a third-party retaliation claim. Assume the brother had been verbally counseled for repeated performance issues. However, at the time his sister filed her EEOC charge, you had not given her brother a formal disciplinary write-up. Can the fired brother assert a third-party retaliation claim against your company for firing him in order to retaliate against his co-worker/sister for her EEOC charge? Based on the Thompson decision, the answer is yes. It remains to be seen whether the decision extends to an employee who answers questions as part of an internal investigation of alleged discrimination, or a co-worker who is in a relationship with that employee.

Thompson: Analyzing the Supreme Court’s Third-Party Retaliation Decision

In Thompson, North American Stainless, LP (NAS) fired Miriam Relalado’s fiancé and co-worker, Eric Thompson, three weeks after she filed a sex discrimination charge with the EEOC. Thompson filed his own charge and a subsequent lawsuit asserting that NAS fired him to retaliate against Relalado for her charge.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted NAS summary judgment on the grounds that Title VII does not permit third-party retaliation claims. It held that Thompson did not engage in any statutorily “protected activity” to support a retaliation claim such as filing a charge prior to his discharge. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals initially reversed but later affirmed the district court’s ruling.

The Supreme Court reversed and held that if the facts Thompson alleged are true, his firing constituted unlawful retaliation. The justices remanded the case to the district court for trial, explaining that Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision must be construed to cover a broad range of employer actions that “well might have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.” Applying this test, the Supreme Court deduced, a “reasonable worker obviously might be dissuaded from engaging in ‘protected activity’ if she knew that her fiancé would be fired.” The Supreme Court held that Thompson fell within the “zone of interests” protected by Title VII because (1) he was an NAS employee, (2) Title VII’s purpose is to protect employees from employers’ unlawful acts and (3) NAS’s alleged conduct was not accidental but unlawful retaliation intended to punish Thompson’s fiancée.

Applying the Decision to Future Claims: What Does “Zone of Interests” Mean?

The Supreme Court rejected NAS’s concern that it would be at risk for a retaliation claim from any employee who has a relationship with employees engaging in “protected activity.” It explained that an individual’s interests cannot be “so marginally related to or inconsistent with the purposes implicit in the statute that it cannot reasonably be assumed that Congress intended to permit the suit.” However, the Supreme Court declined to “identify a fixed class of relationships” for which third-party retaliation is unlawful. Does third-party retaliation apply only to family and couples who are engaged to be married? Does it apply to those who are merely dating? To friends in the workplace? To work acquaintances?

What we do know from the Thompson decision is that the “zone of interests” extends beyond an employee who engages in protected activity to her fiancé. Given that, the protected zone most likely extends to immediate family members. It is unlikely that courts will extend the “zone of interests” to mere work acquaintances. However, as the Supreme Court explained, retaliation claims are highly fact-dependent. Exactly who falls within the protected “zone of interests” will be determined by subsequent cases over the next few years. Given that, it behooves employers to consult with their labor and employment counsel to ascertain whether termination decisions now expose them to future third-party retaliation claims and whether those claims are readily defensible.

Immigration tops Economy as Most Important Issue for Latino Voters

According to a poll released yesterday, “U.S. immigration policy” beat out “economy and jobs” as the issue most important for Hispanic voters. The poll, conducted by independent research firm Latino Decisions, asked 500 registered Hispanic voters to name the most important issues facing Hispanics. 51% of respondents said “immigration;” 35% said “economy and jobs;” and 15% said “education.” Pollsters suggest voters’ “direct and personal connection with the problems of the undocumented” as a reason immigration topped the economy—personal relationships that even “affect the political choices of a second or third generation of Latinos born here.” With reform efforts stalled in Congress, many are wondering what kind of political choices Hispanic voters will make in the upcoming 2012 election cycle.

Some—including the Administration—may be resting on the assumption that Democrats have a lock on the Latino vote given the continuous stream of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the political right. But a recent tracking poll, also by Latino Decisions, found Hispanic voters evenly split over President Obama’s performance on immigration—“48% said Obama is handling the issue well, while another 48% said he is not.”

“It’s clear that Latino voters are holding the [Democratic] party responsible for not making too much of an effort on immigration, but also the Republicans for preventing it,” said Gabriel Sánchez, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico.

Just last night, GOP candidates held a debate in New Hampshire in which they rattled off the same enforcement-only talking points immigration restrictionists have been using for months as an excuse not to reform our system. But the mantras of securing the borders first, “enforcing the laws on the books” and allowing states to legislate immigration law isn’t winning them any support among Latinos.

According to the poll, “55% [of Hispanic voters] think Republicans are constantly talking about securing the border as an excuse not to approve immigration reform” while “only 30% think border security is a legitimate concern.” Additionally, the poll found that “62% think the country is focusing enough resources on raids and deportations.”

Obviously, polls are not absolute indicators of how respondents will vote. Results will continue to fluctuate given a number of variables, but one thing is certain—no matter how many people you ask or how your phrase your question, voters want more from our leaders than just empty campaign promises or heated enforcement rhetoric on immigration. They want fair, just and plausible solutions that actually address our immigration problems.

Photo by RRRPhotos.