The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump won a legal battle on Sunday when a U.S. appeals court in Ohio removed new restrictions on partisan poll watchers that Democrats had sought to prevent Election Day voter intimidation.

The rules overturned by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals would have imposed greater penalties on people who harass voters during Tuesday’s election.

Voter intimidation already is prohibited under U.S. law but Democrats have pushed for greater restrictions in Ohio and five other battleground states, citing concerns that Trump’s heated rhetoric might inspire Election Day chaos.

On the campaign trail, Trump has warned the election may be rigged and has called on supporters to keep an eye on voting activity for possible signs of fraud in large cities. Numerous studies have found that U.S. voter fraud is exceedingly rare.

On Friday U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin imposed new restrictions on those who monitor voting activity, saying they may not interrogate voters within 100 feet of a polling place, block them from entering, or photograph them as they come and go. Those found to violate the rules could be held in contempt of court.

The Trump campaign had argued that those restrictions were not justified, given that there had been no reported instances of voter harassment in the state so far.

“In the end, plaintiff’s case rested on rhetoric, not evidence,” Trump attorney Chad Readler wrote in a court filing on Saturday.

The appeals court sided with Trump, lifting the new rules two days before Election Day. The ruling came before Democrats had a chance to respond to Readler’s motion and the party said it may appeal.

“We are stunned that a court would rule without even allowing one of the parties to file a memo explaining their case, but that is exactly what the Sixth Circuit has done in this decision. We are exploring our options to reverse this unfortunate ruling,” Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis said.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Bill Trott)

IMAGE: Voters wait in line to cast their ballots during early voting at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, in Columbus, Ohio U.S., October 28, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Police outside Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, on May 14, 2022

By Steve Gorman and Moira Warburton

(Reuters) -An 18-year-old white gunman shot 10 people to death and wounded three others at a grocery store in a Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, before surrendering to authorities, who called it a hate crime and an act of "racially motivated violent extremism."

Keep reading... Show less

Supreme Court

Youtube Screenshot

The right-wing freakout over peaceful protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices and chalk on the sidewalk in front of Republican senators’ homes, built around the seeming belief that any kind of protest at all is an act of violence, is actually a piece of classic right-wing projection. Conservatives assume that all protests feature intimidation and menace, bellicose threats, and acts of violence, because they themselves know no other way of protesting, as we’ve seen over the past five years and longer—especially on Jan. 6.

So it’s not surprising that the right-wing response to protests over the imminent demise of the Roe v. Wade ruling so far is riddled with white nationalist thugs turning up in the streets, and threats directed at Democratic judges. Ben Makuch at Vice reported this week on how far-right extremists are filling Telegram channels with calls for the assassination of federal judges, accompanied by doxxing information revealing their home addresses.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}