I cant' tell you how many emails I've received from readers frustrated with the GOP not being more vocal about obvious voter fraud in this past election. Well, as I discovered today, there is a reason behind it: The GOP is legally barred from it according to a court ruling from nearly thirty years ago.
A race-based consent decree negotiated by Democrats against the Republican National Committee a generation ago still has tied the RNC’s hands, and GOP officials could be cited for contempt – or worse – if they try to make sure American elections are clean.
Democrats alleged Republicans were trying intimidate minority voters in New Jersey and brought the legal action. The RNC, inexplicably, decided to agree to a consent decree before a Democrat-appointed judge rather than fight the claims.
The judge, Dickinson Debevoise, appointed by Jimmy Carter, later retired but decided he would continue to control the case. The decision requires the RNC – but not the DNC – to “refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose.”
The rest of the agreement essentially requires the RNC to follow applicable state and federal election laws.
I know, silly right? What in the world were the Republicans thinking of when they agreed to this?
They have challenged the ruling by a three judge panel in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges were Joseph Greenaway Jr., appointed by Bill Clinton, Delores Sloviter, appointed by Jimmy Carter and Walter Stapleton, appointed by Ronald Reagan.
The case is now pending before the United States Supreme Court.
Attorney James Bopp of the James Madison Center said, “It is way too restrictive. It prevents the RNC from working with state parties in conducting voter integrity activities. It has been used by the DNC to harass the leadership of the RNC with false allegations of violations of the consent decree.”
Ya think? It is a bit of an unfair advantage when one side can basically manipulate the vote and the other side has legislative handcuffs on, preventing them from even bringing the subject up.
Attorney Cleta Mitchell of the Washington firm of Foley & Lardner said, “The RNC has been completely prohibited from doing anything in ballot security since 1982. The Democrats repeatedly over the years have gotten the RNC officers into court on the weekend before the election.
“What it means is that for 30 years there has been no way to institutionalize, to help train state parties, to work with candidates [on vote fraud prevention issues],” she said.
This is why the Republican have been so adament about pushing for Voter ID laws. This way there is a proper channel for verifying the legitimacy of the voter.
I have previously written about electronic voting machines. While the convenience factor sounds nice, it is the ability for abuse they present that concerns me. Honestly, the states should return to paper ballots where there is a physical, tangible, recorded record of each and every vote.
But to the case at hand, it seems that Republicans have attempted to change the ruling since 2009, but have failed. The question I have to ask is, "Why have we not heard from the Republican party in regards to this matter?"