The court hearing the lawsuit filed by MALDEF against New Mexico GOP lawyer Pat Rogers did not rule yesterday on the plaintiffs' request for a restraining order to be placed on Rogers, reports the Albuquerque Journal.
The plaintiffs, two Hispanic voters in Albuquerque, want Rogers and Al Romero, the private investigator and ex-FBI agent hired by Rogers, prohibited from intimidating the plaintiffs or challenging their ballots.
The judge, William P. Johnson, questioned lawyers for the plaintiffs skeptically, reports the paper, but said the hearing will continue this morning.
Rogers' attorneys argued that Rogers had hired Romero not because he wanted to intimidate voters, but because he wanted to investigate ACORN for a possible lawsuit. ACORN had registered the plaintiffs to vote. Romero's visits to one of the plaintiffs, Dora Escobedo, and to another voter, were reported last month by TPMmuckraker and the New Mexico Independent.
But Escobedo told the court that Romero came to her home and intimidated her about her right to vote, adding that he "not only threatened me, but he made fun of me."
Romero's lawyer said Romero didn't threaten Escobedo, and that he had good reason to visit her because her voter registration form contained discrepancies.
After the hearing, Rogers told reporters: "This (lawsuit) is clearly a strategy to distract Republican lawyers from the duty at hand, which is getting out the vote."