Big Election Legal Developments

Bill Clark/CQPHO

We’re going to be bringing you more on this through the day. But I wanted to give you a heads up. There were a number of legal developments overnight (meaning court filings and judge’s orders) about Republican poll watching and (purportedly) voter intimidation tactics in a few different parts of the country.

Here are two big ones we’re following closely. As you know, the RNC remains under a consent decree from the 1980s tied to intimidation of black voters. That decree is set to end next year. But Democrats are trying to argue that it needs to be extended because of evidence that Republicans are violating it this year. A judge in New Jersey has ordered Republicans to turn over by tomorrow a substantial amount of information about their activities this year. He has not ordered the Democrats to keep that information confidential. So at least at the moment it seems like the Democrats can publicize whatever they find.

After that order, Democrats made another major filing: Republicans had told the court they were not doing any poll watching in Nevada. But the Democrats have presented what seems like pretty clear evidence that the Republicans deceived the court and actually were doing poll-watching but are just hiding it.

Again, we’ll have more on this through the day. But this all has very big implications for this year and possibly for the next eight years if the judge agrees with Democrats that the decree needs to be extended for another eight years.

More to come.