In late October, the Ohio Democratic Party filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump’s campaign, Trump adviser Roger Stone, and the Ohio Republican Party over what they viewed to be voter intimidation practices.
The lawsuit claimed that “the campaign of Donald J. Trump, Trump’s close adviser Roger J. Stone, Jr., Stone’s organization Stop the Steal Inc., the Ohio Republican Party (“ORP”), and others are conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority voters in urban neighborhoods from voting in the 2016 election.”
The purpose of the lawsuit was for a restraining order to be filed that would prevent Trump’s supporters from conducting “aggressive questioning of those waiting to vote, threats or suggestions of legal or criminal action” and monitoring polling places.”
Donald Trump’s campaign is now asking an appeals court judge to suspend the case, Cleveland.com reports, out of fear that it will negatively affect Trump’s chances at winning the election.
The Trump campaign filed two briefs on Saturday, citing lack of examples from the Ohio Democratic Party as a reason for the suspension. The Trump campaign also demanded that the full court holds an immediate hearing about the case. Trump campaign attorney Chad Readler wrote,
‘The order tramples upon core First Amendment freedoms. It imposes vague prohibitions against poorly defined categories of core political activity — talking to voters, giving information to voters, etc.—that guarantee hundreds (if not thousands) of Ohioans will be chilled from participating in our democratic process.’
Readler also claimed that Judge James Gwin, who filed the order, was confusing when he decided to whom the order applies.
Gwin said in his order that it applies to “Trump, Stone, and [Stone’s organization] Stop the Steal — as well as their officers, agents, servants, and employees — and other individuals or groups, including groups associated with the Clinton for Presidency campaign.”
There has been some confusion over this portion of Gwin’s order, and Readler capitalized on that confusion in his briefs.
“If the court’s Order appears puzzling to this Court, think of how it must appear to everyday Ohioans, none of whom were parties to the case, but all of whom are covered by the Order,” he wrote.
The Ohio Democratic Party responded to the Trump campaign’s briefs, saying that “the integrity of the electoral process — and Americans’ trust in the judiciary’s ability to safeguard their most precious rights — is at stake.”
‘The District Court’s order safeguards the constitutional imperative to protect the franchise, which does and should take priority over the Campaign’s untenable invocation of the First Amendment as a justification for intimidating Ohio voters.’
The Ohio Democratic Party is not alone in alleging voter intimidation tactics from the Trump campaign. At the same time that a lawsuit was being filed in Ohio, three other states were accusing Trump and Stone of voter intimidation: Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. All four states where voter intimidation allegedly took place are swing states that are vital to a Trump victory.
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