Democrats lose suit to bar voter intimidation
WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court yesterday rejected an 11th-hour move by the Democratic Party in Ohio seeking to prevent Donald Trump supporters from carrying out certain actions that could be considered voter intimidation.
The legal battle, followed across the country because of its potential implications, had stemmed from Trump’s assertions on the campaign trail – without providing evidence – that the election was likely to be “rigged” and that his supporters should watch polling sites.
Fearing this call would lead to Trump supporters intimidating voters, particularly minorities who are more likely to support Democrat Hillary Clinton, the Ohio Democratic Party filed a lawsuit and initially won their case in federal court on Friday.
District judge James Gwin had issued a ruling barring activities including following, questioning or photographing voters or their vehicles.
The Trump campaign appealed and won, with the Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Sunday suspending Gwin’s order, saying the Ohio Democratic Party had not sufficiently substantiated their arguments.
Yesterday, the shorthanded Supreme Court – with eight justices instead of the usual nine – sided with the appeals court. In keeping with protocol, the high court is reluctant to intervene just before a national election. – AFP