September 16, 2008

"Democrats Sue Michigan G.O.P. on Voter Issue"

The NY Times offers this report on its "Caucus" blog about this complaint filed by the Obama campaign and the DNC. More in the Wall Street Journal.

Given that the head of the McComb County Republican Party not only denied he was going to use the foreclosure lists for vote caging purposes but has now threatened to sue the newspaper which printed the original story for libel, what explains the lawsuit?

Some blog readers may know that I also teach Remedies, and I was just explaining to my students last week that you can't get an injunction against a defendant unless you can prove "propensity," that the defendant is likely to engage in the action sought to be enjoined. So this comes down to one of two things: (1) the Democrats don't believe the denials of the county Republicans, and so even if they can't get an injunction because they can't prove propensity, they can at least get party officials to come to court and swear they are not going to engage in the conduct. (2) This is great p.r. for Democrats. Just as Republicans bring up (often unsubstantiated) charges of voter fraud close to election day, Democrats do the same with voter suppression. It helps motivate the Democratic base to argue that Republicans are trying to disenfranchise voters---especially here, middle class voters who are down on their luck and stuck in the current financial mess with a foreclosure problem.

Whether it is more (1) than (2), I don't know.

Posted by Rick Hasen at September 16, 2008 08:43 PM