Democratic Nat'l Comm. v. Republican Nat'l Comm., No. 09-4615 (3d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
During the 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial election, the Democratic National Committee and others sued the Republican National Committee, and others, alleging that defendants targeted minority voters for intimidation, in violation of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1971, 1973, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. RNC allegedly mailed sample ballots to individuals in precincts with a high percentage of minority registered voters and included individuals whose postcards were returned as undeliverable on a list of voters to challenge at the polls and enlisted off-duty officers to intimidate voters by standing at minority precinct polling places, wearing “National Ballot Security Task Force” armbands. Some allegedly wore visible firearms. In 1982, RNC and DNC entered into a consent decree, national in scope, limiting RNC's participation in voter fraud prevention without advance court approval. The decree was modified in 1987 and was the subject of enforcement actions in 2000, 2004, and 2008. The district court denied, in part, a motion to modify or vacate the decree, but made modifications. The Third Circuit affirmed, stating that if RNC does not hope to engage in conduct that would violate the decree, it is puzzling that it would pursue vacatur so vigorously. despite significant modifications.