There’s been a lot of talk in the elections forum about the Republican party being subject to a consent decree.
What exactly are the terms of this agreement other than that they not engage in voter suppression tactics? I would have thought that would have been covered under the whole ‘don’t do it, it’s illegal’ principle?
What are the potential consequences if the party is found to have violated it?
DNC v. RNC Consent Decree
In 1982, after caging in predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods, the Republican National Committee and New Jersey Republican State Committee entered into a consent decree with their Democratic party counterparts. Under that decree and its 1987 successor, the Republican party organizations agreed to allow a federal court to review proposed “ballot security” programs, including any proposed voter caging.
The consent decree has been invoked several times, by the parties to the decree and by others. Most recently, in late 2008, the Democratic National Committee and Obama for America sought to enforce the consent decree, claiming that the Republican National Committee had not submitted alleged ballot security operations for review. After the election, the Republican National Committee asked the federal court to vacate or substantially modify the decree. The court denied the RNC’s motion to vacate the consent decree and ordered the decree remain in effect until December 2017. The RNC then appealed to the Third Circuit, which unanimously rejected the appeal and affirmed the District Court’s decision. The RNC subsequently petitioned for rehearing en banc.
You can read the legal documents involved from that page. I don’t know of any written consequences.
Voter caging refers to challenging the registration status of voters and calling into question the legality of allowing them to vote. Sometimes, it involves sending direct mail to the addressees of registered voters and compiling a list of addressees from which the mail is returned undelivered. The list is then used to purge or challenge voters’ registrations on the grounds that the voters do not legally reside at the registered addresses.
In the United States, the practice is legal in many states. However, it has been challenged in the courts for perceived racial bias, and it has been declared illegal under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
I can’t speak to the accuracy, but
here is Rachel Maddow’s take on it.