Courts Block Trump Voter Suppression Efforts in Texas, Pennsylvania
Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican party have been waging a massive, multi-front legal war across the country to keep people from voting. They’ve filed more than 90 state and federal lawsuits, many of them challenging states’ plans to allow mail-in voting to keep people from having to congregate in polling places on Nov. 3 during the pandemic.
Tonight, coronavirus-positive Trump must be stinging as his voter suppression efforts in two critically important states, Texas and Pennsylvania, have been shot down by the courts.
Trump ally Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a decree Oct. 1 ordering the removal of hundreds of early voting ballot boxes across the state. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman issued an injunction on Friday, blocking Abbott’s rule. Pitman’s 46-page opinion said Abbott’s plan to limit ballot boxes to just one per county would be unfair to voters, particularly the elderly and disabled, and “likely violates their fundamental right to vote.”
In Pennsylvania, a federal judge on Saturday dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to block the use of drop boxes as receptacles for mail ballots, require ballot signatures to match voter registration records and allow nonresident poll watchers at polling places.
U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan ruled that the president’s claims of potential fraud were “speculative.” His sharply worded opinion said that the Trump campaign has no standing because of it did not provide any evidence of actual fraud.
“While Plaintiffs may not need to prove actual voter fraud, they must at least prove that such fraud is ‘certainly impending,’ ” Ranjan wrote. “They haven’t met that burden. At most, they have pieced together a sequence of uncertain assumptions.”