Justices reject Ohio Democrats’ appeal in voter intimidation case

The Columbus Dispatch

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene Monday in a unsuccessful voter intimidation lawsuit filed by the Ohio Democratic Party.

The state party filed an emergency request for the nation’s high court to lift a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court order. That ruling Sunday granted the Donald Trump campaign’s request to block a Cleveland federal judge’s restraining order that Democrats said was needed to prevent voter intimidation.

A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel said Ohio Democrats didn’t show “a likelihood of success” on their case’s merits.

The party told the Supreme Court the appellate judges ruled without reviewing “critical evidence” U.S. District Judge James Gwin relied on in ruling that anyone engaging in intimidation or harassment inside or near polling places would face contempt of court charges.

However, the court on Monday afternoon denied the party’s request, with one justice indicating intimidation in polling places could be handled under state law.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg provided the only comment: “Mindful that Ohio law proscribes voter intimidation … ‘Harassment in violation of the election law’ includes an ‘improper practice or attempt tending to obstruct, intimidate, or interfere with an elector in registering or voting at a place of registration or election,’ I vote to deny the application.”

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