On Voter Suppression: Supreme Court rejects 30 year GOP effort at Voter Intimidation

On Voter Suppression: Supreme Court rejects 30 year GOP effort at Voter Intimidation

January 14, 2013


The Republican effort to end a 30 year old court order which attempts to prevent intimidation of minority voters  was unsuccessful. The Supreme Court has rejected their appeal without comment from the Justices.

Image: Think Progress

Image: Think Progress


The AP reports, “The order stems from a lawsuit filed by Democrats in New Jersey in 1981 that objected to a “ballot security” program the RNC ran in minority neighborhoods. Republicans said the order hampers efforts to combat voter fraud, but U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise said voter intimidation remains a threat and preventing it outweighs the potential danger of fraud. The court action is unrelated to legal challenges to Republican-inspired voter identification laws in the 2012 campaign.”

This is a big win against voter suppression. The ballot security program posted armed officers in the task force, from the ranks of off-duty county deputy sheriffs and local police, placing them at the polls with foreboding signs, who prominently displayed revolvers, two-way radios, and BSTF armbands. BSTF patrols challenged and questioned voters at the polls.

This sounds similar to True the Vote, sans the armbands. With partisan efforts to secure the polls and question mostly minority voters while claiming it’s only an effort to combat voter fraud, seems disingenuous — especially when True the Vote is a Tea Party concept which only identifies Democrats in voter fraud.

In short: GOP, you’re not the police of me!

Thanks to Barbara Arnwine, National Director, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for passing this piece over to us.  Barbara is an OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, along with other members of the LCCRUL staff.