Home>Campaigns>DCCC will seek to join Trump v. Murphy vote-by-mail lawsuit

Gov. Phil Murphy. Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

DCCC will seek to join Trump v. Murphy vote-by-mail lawsuit

GOP wants federal judge to invalidate New Jersey governor’s order of a general election conducted predominately through mail-in ballots

By David Wildstein, August 23 2020 7:40 pm

Updated at 3:30 PM: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will be represented by Angelo Genova and Raj Parikh of Genova Burns and Mark Elias of Perkins Coie.  Click here to view their filing.

Updated at 12:13 PM: “New Jersey voters must be able to safely exercise their right to vote, and any attempt by the Trump campaign and Washington Republicans to undermine that is petty politics at its most dangerous. Amid a deadly pandemic that has already wreaked havoc on the region, no voter should be forced to choose between safeguarding their health and safely making their voice heard. Democrats will not stand idly by as Republicans attempt to make it harder and more dangerous to vote — we still stand unapologetically in defense of democracy undergirded by free, fair and safe elections.” — DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will seek to intervene on behalf of Gov. Phil Murphy in a lawsuit filed in federal court by Donald Trump’s re-election campaign challenging vote-by-mail elections in New Jersey.

The DCCC is expected to announce on Monday that they join the case as an interested third party to oppose the Trump campaign’s bid to invalidate an executive order issued by Murphy that will automatically send mail-in ballots to nearly 5.8 million voters, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

The Republican National Committee and the New Jersey Republican State Committee joined the Trump campaign in filing their lawsuit last Tuesday.

Atlantic County Democrats asked the court on Friday for permission to become a party to the lawsuit.

U.S. District Court Michael A. Shipp was designated to hear Trump v. Murphy.   On Friday, the court set a deadline of September 21 for parties to file a motion to intervene, or to file amicus briefs.

The GOP argues that the power to change to a predominately all-VBM election rests with the state legislature, and that the executive order violates the right of New Jersey votes to vote under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“This brazen power grab was not authorized by state law and violates both the Elections Clause and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit says.

In comments last week, Murphy said that the lawsuit is evidence that the Trump campaign was “putting itself on record as wanting to delegitimize our November election instead of working with us to ensure that voters’ rights are upheld alongside public health.”

“This goes far beyond attempts at weaponizing the U.S. Postal Service to disenfranchise voters,” Murphy said.  “This is now becoming a full-throated propaganda campaign to undermine the election itself.”

While all eligible voters will receive a VBM ballot, eligible New Jerseyans wishing to cast theirs vote in person on Election Day may still do so by paper ballot at a polling location in the municipality of their residence.

The DCCC did not immediately respond with comment.

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