Supreme Court denies Dems’ Ohio voter intimidation case
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a statement announcing that more than half of the states in the union will be monitored by the Justice Department on election day. USA TODAY
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to reinstate a restraining order that was initially issued by a federal judge in Ohio last week, but was then blocked by a federal appeals court on Sunday.
In the Supreme Court’s one-page denial, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who drew criticism over the summer for her choice words about Trump — noted that state law already prevented voter intimidation.
U.S. District Judge James Gwin issued a restraining order Friday stating that anyone who engages in intimidation or harassment inside or near Ohio polling places, regardless of political alliance, would face contempt of court charges.
The order stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Democratic Party, which claimed the Ohio Republican Party, the Trump campaign and Trump adviser Roger Stone’s Stop the Seal group were violating the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 by conspiring to keep minority voters from the polls.
Lawyers for the Ohio Democratic Party cited Trump’s calls for his supporters to watch the polls in “certain areas” as evidence of intent to intimidate minority voters.
A federal appeals court blocked Gwin’s order, siding with the lawyers for the Trump campaign who argued it impinged on the First Amendment and was issued without any evidence of voter intimidation taking place.
Similar complaints from Democrats were rejected in federal courts in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
In Nevada, a lawyer for Stop the Seal told a federal judge that their volunteers will be sent an email instructing them to comply with all voter intimidation laws, such as not talking with voters within 100 feet of a polling place. The judge ruled that with the retraining, he wouldn’t issue the restraining order sought by Democrats.
Contributing: The Associated Press