The Democratic National Committee is asking a federal judge to hold the Republican National Committee in contempt for the actions of their party’s presidential nominee. The DNC filed an official federal motion in court on Wednesday, which states that the RNC is liable for Donald Trump violating the decree that says that no presidential candidate should partake in “ballot security” activities meant to frighten minority voters.
That decree, dating back to 1981, states that:
“In 1982, the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) entered into a consent decree (the “Decree” or “Consent Decree”), which is national in scope, limiting the RNC’s ability to engage or assist in voter fraud prevention unless the RNC obtains the court’s approval in advance.”
The decree was written when Republican party officials allegedly took part in activities that intimidated minority voters from showing up to polling stations. Although, the decree has seemingly put an end to voter intimidation by party officials, the DNC says that the RNC is no longer abiding by the rules.
The DNC’s federal motion states:
“Defendant Republican National Committee (“RNC”) has violated the Final Consent Decree.. by supporting and enabling the efforts of the Republican candidate for President, Donald J. Trump, as well as his campaign and advisors, to intimidate and discourage minority voters from voting in the 2016 Presidential Election. Trump has falsely and repeatedly told his supporters that the November 8 election will be “rigged” based upon fabricated claims of voter fraud in “certain areas” or “certain sections” of key states. Unsurprisingly, those “certain areas” are exclusively communities in which large minority voting populations reside. Notwithstanding that no evidence of such fraud actually exists, Trump has encouraged his supporters to do whatever it takes to stop it—“You’ve got to get everybody to go out and watch . . . and when [I] say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about, right?”—and has been actively organizing “election observers” to monitor polling stations in “certain areas.” Trump has even encouraged his “watchers” to act like vigilante law enforcement officers.”
Finally, it seems as though something may be done about the Republican presidential nominee’s constant verbal attacks on minorities. For the past year and a half, Americans have helplessly watched as Trump does one atrocious thing after another, yet no legal action seems to get very far.
Professor Rick Hasen of the University of California-Irvine Law, says that he doesn’t think this motion will do much either. Hasen said in his blog that, “I think this matter of the extension will get very serious consideration by the courts, including potentially the Supreme Court. It will also cause the RNC to do what it can to try to further distance itself from Trump’s election day activities.”