US court snubs Republican appeal over voting decree
AFPWASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from the Republican Party against a decree that aims to prevent polling-place intimidation of minority voters.
January 16, 2013, 11:46 am TWN
The decree, which dates back to 1982, calls for measures such as stationing police in polling places. In March of last year, the decree was extended to 2017 under a ruling by an appeals court in Philadelphia.
The Supreme Court gave no reason for its decision Monday, which in effect upholds the decree.
In its failed appeal, the Republican National Committee (RNC) had said the case involved “issues of profound national importance” concerning what it called its right to conduct poll watching activities for the purpose of detecting and reporting fraud.
But the original judge in the case, in a ruling later confirmed by the Philadelphia court, had said it was “puzzling” that the RNC was seeking to erase the decree “so vigorously if the RNC does not hope to engage in conduct that would violate the decree.”
“The effects of such fraud pales in comparison to the damage that would likely result from allowing the types of ballot security initiatives that are currently prohibited by the ... decree,” the first court said.