RNC ‘Ballot Security’ Restrictions Continue as Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Consent Decree
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to lift 30-year-old restrictions on the Republican National Committee’s “ballot security” programs that the organization said were necessary to combat voter fraud.
The court decided not to take up the RNC’s appeal without commenting on the case. The consent decree came about after the Democratic National Committee sued the RNC for enlisting off-duty sheriffs and police officers to patrol polling places in minority precincts in New Jersey during a 1981 gubernatorial election. In 1982, the RNC agreed not to carry out some programs designed to combat voter fraud and to have other reviewed by a federal court.
After unsuccessfully trying to get a federal judge to get rid of the consent decree in 2008, the RNC appealed, lost, and ultimately turned to the Supreme Court. RNC lawyers argued the decree had become “antiquated and was being used increasingly as a political weapon,” dropping their previous argument that the measure was no longer necessary because former RNC Chair Michael Steele is African-American.