Donald Trump made election integrity a major issue in conservative politics.
After 2020 many states passed laws to tighten up election administration.
Now Democrats just lost a huge election court case that had Trump breathing a sigh of relief.
In the key state of Arizona Democrats filed lawsuits to stop observers from exercising their First Amendment rights to watch ballot drop boxes to make sure no illegal voting dumps took place.
But a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Liburdi threw out a lawsuit brought by left-wing groups Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Vote Latino against Clean Elections USA and its founder Melody Jennings alleging the group supposedly intimidated voters by posting volunteers in the vicinity of ballot drop boxes to watch for what it called “mules” who could potentially deposit batches of illegal votes.
In the wake of Judge Liburdi’s decision Donald Trump shared a post on his Truth Social platform mocking an NBC News article falsely claiming Trump supporters engaged in illegal vigilantism by monitoring the drop boxes.
Judge Liburdi wrote that the left-wing groups asked the impossible as he could not “craft a meaningful form of injunctive relief that does not violate Defendants’ First Amendment rights and those of the drop box observers.”
Judge Liburdi wrote that Jennings and other Clean Elections USA supporters had a First Amendment right to peacefully participate in the political process.
“While there are serious questions implicated, the Court cannot provide preliminary injunctive relief without infringing core constitutional rights,” Judge Liburdi added. “A preliminary injunction cannot issue on these facts, but Arizona Alliance is invited to return to this Court with any new evidence that Defendants have engaged in unlawful voter intimidation.”
The judge added that the groups had “not shown any other concrete or particularized injury” as no one was stopped from depositing their vote in the ballot drop box.
Judge Liburdi added that the group’s message that it would expose any illegal voting was a legitimate message.
“The message is that persons who attempt to break Arizona’s anti-ballot harvesting law will be exposed,” Liburdi wrote. “On this record, therefore, the Court finds that a reasonable observer could interpret the conduct as conveying some sort of message, regardless of whether the message has any objective merit.”
Judge Liburdi noted that it is illegal to make comments “threatening to commit acts of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.”
But Clean Elections USA and Jennings never did that as the group did not post any photos of voters at the drop boxes nor did they post any voter’s identifying personal information.
“There is no evidence that Defendants have publicly posted any voter’s names, home addresses, occupations, or other personal information,” he wrote. “In fact, Jennings continuously states that her volunteers are to ‘follow laws.’”
And while the judge wrote that he could sympathize with the idea that voters were uncomfortable with drop box observers watching them he could not rule in their favor with infringing upon the Clean Elections USA supporters’ First Amendment rights.
“The Court acknowledges that Plaintiffs and many voters are legitimately alarmed by the observers filming at the County’s early voting drop boxes,” Liburdi declared. “But on this record, Defendants’ conduct does not establish a likelihood of success on the merits that justifies preliminary injunctive relief. Alternatively, while this case certainly presents serious questions, the Court cannot craft an injunction without violating the First Amendment.”
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