Federal appeals court stays order blocking ‘voter intimidation’ activities in Ohio
Federal appeals court stays order blocking ‘voter intimidation’ activities in Ohio

In a short order [order PDF] issued on Sunday, a three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] ruled in favor of Donald J. Trump for President and the Ohio Republican Party by staying a lower court order that they refrain from any “voter intimidation” activity. The Democratic Party initiated the litigation in hopes of curbing [WSJ report] any “aggressive polling-place tactics that could hinder or intimidate voters.” On Friday a judge for the US District Court of the Northern District of Ohio [official website] initially granted the injunction, just two days prior to the appeals court’s decision. Those in opposition to the district court’s order were particularly upset with the order’s broad language, which would have prevented the listed parties and “other individuals or groups” from gathering at polling places and informing individuals that voter fraud is a crime. The circuit court held the, “[p]laintiff did not demonstrate before the district court a likelihood of success on the merits, and that all of the requisite factors weigh in favor of granting the stay.” In a similar vein to the current court ruling, a federal judge in New Jersey declined to rule that the Republican National Committee had engaged in poll intimidation, in conjunction with Donald Trump’s poll monitoring campaign. Democrats have filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court

Voter rights continue to plague this election cycle. Last month the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit [official website] struck down [JURIST report] a New Hampshire law that banned ballot selfies. Last week the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] denied an emergency motion [JURIST report] from North Carolina counties to extend the hours of early voting. Earlier this month a district court judge ruled [JURIST report] that Ohio must allow most unlawfully purged voters to vote in November. In September a district court judge granted [JURIST report] a motion blocking Illinois from allowing voter registration on election day in the state’s most populated counties. Also in September the US Supreme Court [official website] denied a motion to reinstate [JURIST report] North Carolina’s recently overturned law that limited early voting to 10 days and required voters to present approved identification cards.

4:00 PM EST ~ The US Supreme Court has refused to intervene to reinstate the order.