The Democratic National Committee, in a court filing Wednesday, indicated it planned to appeal a court’s decision letting the Republican National Committee get out from under the consent decree barring so-called “ballot integrity” activities.
The underlying case is decades old, and stems from a 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial election in which the RNC and the New Jersey GOP was accused of voter intimidation tactics targeting minority voters. A lawsuit brought by the Democrats resulted in the 1982 consent decree prohibiting the RNC and New Jersey GOP from poll watching and other related election day “ballot security” activities at voting sites. After the the decree was extended multiple times because of GOP violations of it, it was allowed to expire last month.
Democrats launched a flurry of litigation in 2016 seeking to extend the consent decree, particularly after President Trump ramped up his voter fraud rhetoric and called for vigilante poll watchers from the stump. Democrats’ latest efforts zeroed in on reports that former White House press secretary Sean Spicer — then a top RNC official — was on election night hanging around the area of Trump Tower where the campaign was engaged in its poll monitoring operation.
A federal judge in New Jersey allowed Democrats to depose Spicer last year, and Spicer denied being involved in any poll monitoring activities. Dems’ request to then depose ex-RNC chairman Reince Priebus and seek other discovery was denied by U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez, who also green-lighted the expiration of the decree.
On Wednesday, the DNC notified Vazquez that it plans to appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals his decisions on letting the decree expire and denying more discovery, as well as his orders related to other claims the Democrats made about RNC activity in the 2016 election.
Read the filing below: