COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request Monday from Ohio Democrats to issue an order aimed at preventing Donald Trump’s supporters from harassing or intimidating voters on Election Day.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that Ohio law already forbids voter intimidation.
The case is part of a flurry of courtroom efforts by the Democrats around the country to head off what they say is vigilantism by the Trump campaign and its backers.
The Republican presidential candidate has called on supporters to stand guard at the polls against fraud. That has stirred fears of minority voters being confronted and challenged by self-appointed poll watchers.
Last week, a federal judge in Cleveland issued a temporary restraining order warning that anyone, regardless of political affiliation, who engages in intimidation near or inside polling places will face contempt of court charges.
Ginsburg, effectively, says, "I'll deny the Dems' request — but keep in mind that you're barred from voter intimidation." #SCOTUS
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) November 7, 2016
But a federal appeals court blocked the order after the Trump campaign said that it tramples on people’s First Amendment rights and that there has been no evidence of intimidation during early voting.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to reinstate the order.