Trump, GOP convince judges to dismiss part of voter lawsuit

Donald Trump holds campaign rally in Carson City, NV

President Donald Trump gestures during a campaign event October 18, 2020 in Carson City, Nevada.

donald trump and the Republican Party have obtained the dismissal of part of a lawsuit alleging they plotted to disenfranchise black voters in connection with the 2020 presidential election, a federal judge has ruled. The judge did not immediately disclose his reasoning and withheld ruling on the remainder of the litigation, which remains partially intact for now. Trump and the RNC lost a separate motion to move the remaining litigation out of Democratic stronghold Washington, DC

Originally filed by the Detroit-based Michigan Welfare Rights Organization in November 2020, the lawsuit initially targeted Trump and his campaign over a single alleged violation of the Voting Rights Act. A month later, an amended lawsuit added the Republican National Committee as a defendant and a revealing top count: alleged violation of Ku Klux Klan law. Other plaintiffs also signed the lawsuit, including the NAACP and three black Detroit voters: Maureen Taylor, Nicole L Hill and Teasha K Jones.

The lawsuit found that Trump and the Republican Party conducted their efforts to subvert elections in places with large numbers of people of color.

“Under the specter of preventing ‘fraud,’ defendants engaged in a conspiracy conducted through coordinated efforts to disenfranchise voters by interfering with vote counting efforts, filing baseless challenges during recounts, and attempting to have the certification of Blocking election results by intimidating and coercing election officials and volunteers,” the amended complaint conditions. “These systematic efforts — violating the VRA and the Ku Klux Klan law — have largely targeted large metropolitan areas with large black voter populations. These include Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Philadelphia and others. Defendants did not direct those efforts to predominantly white areas.”

On Thursday, Senior US District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled in a unilateral order that Trump and the Republican Party could not move the venue, a move civil rights groups called forum shopping. The same order indicates that Sullivan will dismiss a portion of the lawsuit against the defendants and withhold judgment on another portion of the lawsuit.

Sullivan promised to explain his reasoning in a statement “coming soon”.

Pending its release, Sullivan’s flimsy order reads in its entirety as follows:

For the reasons set out in the Court’s forthcoming Memorandum Opinion, it is hereby

NOTING that the RNC’s Request for Transfer, ECF No. 21, is REFUSED; and it’s further

NOTING that Trump Defendants’ Motion for Transfer, ECF No. 22, is REFUSED; and it’s further

RESOLVE that the RNC’s motion to dismiss, ECF #24, IS PARTIALLY GRANTED AND PARTIALLY PENDING; and it’s further

ordered the Trump defendants’ motion to dismiss be denied, ECF #25PARTLY GRANTED AND PARTLY HELD IN PENDING.

The lawsuit by civil rights groups is not the only one accusing Trump of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act, a Reconstruction-era law originally intended to investigate conspiracies to violate the civil rights of formerly enslaved people punished by white supremacist and vigilante groups. US District Judge in February Amit Metha progressive Portions of three lawsuits against Trump, including allegations under the KKK law.

Attorneys for Trump, the RNC and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization did not respond to Law&Crime press inquiries.

Read the judge’s order below:

(Image via Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected] Trump, GOP convince judges to dismiss part of voter lawsuit

James Brien

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