Home>Campaigns>DCCC seeks dismissal of Trump v. Murphy

President Donald Trump with Gov. Phil Murphy, Chief of Staff George Helmy, and New Jersey Commissioner of Health Judy Persichilli. White House Pool Photo.

DCCC seeks dismissal of Trump v. Murphy

By David Wildstein, October 02 2020 11:57 pm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) filed a motion tonight to dismiss the lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign challenging Gov. Phil Murphy vote-by-mail elections in New Jersey.

The Trump campaign sued Murphy in August alleging that his executive order forcing a general election conducted primarily through vote-by-mail ballots was unconstitutional. 

Raj Parikh, the attorney for the DCC, told the court that Trump and the GOP “claim they are concerned about potential voter fraud, yet New Jersey’s policy ensures that each voter may only vote once.”

“Under the system devised by the Election Law, if a voter submitted a mail ballot and attempted to also vote provisionally, the second ballot would not be counted, protecting New Jersey from the very ills about which Plaintiffs warn,” Parikh wrote in his filing.

He said Republicans “also appear to argue that voters will suffer unequally if there is a surge in provisional voting this November.”

“Instead of seeking relief to lessen the alleged burden on voters, Plaintiffs instead seek to burden voters even more by removing the mail-voting option adopted by the Election Law, potentially disenfranchising thousands. Plaintiffs may disagree with the policy approach adopted by the State, but their lawsuit fails to state any cognizable constitutional claim,” the brief said.  “At most, Plaintiffs’ requested relief makes voting harder for voters, and at the very least it belies common sense.”

The Republican National Committee and the New Jersey Republican State Committee joined Trump in filing the legal action.  The DCCC and the Atlantic County Democrats, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey and the New Jersey NAACP joined the case as interested third parties. 

Trump and the Republicans filed an order to show cause two weeks to determine why a federal judge should not stop New Jersey from early counting of general election ballots and permitting mail-in ballots with no postmark to be accepted up to 48 hours after Election Day.

“Ruling on some of Plaintiffs’ challenges, while leaving others outstanding, would continue this litigation as the election approaches,” Parikh wrote.

State Sen. Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland), the attorney for the New Jersey Republicans, disputed the DCCC claims in a letter to the court today.  “The DCCC would have filed its motion weeks ago if such expedition were truly necessary and warranted. At the very least, DCCC should have filed its motion last week after the parties’ conference with the Court. Had it done so, the motion could have been set for an October 19 hearing.”

“The DCCC’s own conduct contradicts its claim that expedition is necessary. Plaintiffs filed the amended complaint 21 days ago and moved for a preliminary injunction five days later,” Testa wrote.  

The next move will be up to U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Shipp.

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