ACLU of Pa., civil rights groups file motion to intervene on ‘outrageous’ Trump campaign lawsuit

By: - November 11, 2020 4:02 pm

(Image AdobeStock via The Philadelphia Gay News)

A coalition of civil rights organizations, led by the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, is moving to intervene in a federal lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign seeking to stop the certification of votes in the Keystone State.

Trump’s re-election campaign filed suit Monday in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, claiming, without evidence, that “almost every critical aspect of Pennsylvania’s November 3, 2020 General Election was effectively shrouded in secrecy.” The lawsuit names Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and several county boards of election as defendants.

“The Trump campaign’s lawsuit needs to be dismissed,” Vic Walczak, legal director of ACLU of Pennsylvania, said.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania’s motion, if granted, would allow the organizations “a seat at the table,” according to Walczak.

Trump campaign sues to block certification of Pa. election results, report

“People really need to be clear on exactly what the Trump campaign has asked for in this lawsuit — and that is to block certification of the votes. That means they want to cancel the votes of nearly 7 million Pennsylvanians, which would open the door to the legislature overriding the will of the people, and putting in their own electors,” Walczak told the Capital-Star.

Walczak described the Trump campaign’s lawsuit as “outrageous” and “an unprecedented request to disenfranchise millions of voters.”

After the lawsuit was filed, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, along with state organizations like the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, the Black Empowerment Project, NAACP Pennsylvania, Common Cause Pennsylvania,and several individuals, teamed up to step in with the goal of protecting voters.

“We’re trying to advance the voter interests in this litigation,” Walczak said.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania appears confident that the Trump campaign’s lawsuit will not hold up in federal court.

“They have nothing that would satisfy the level of proof that you need in a court of law,” Walczak said.

Walczak told the Capital-Star that it’s unclear when the court might make a ruling on their intervention motion. However, there is a rough timeline on important dates regarding the original complaint.

“The court is conducting argument on the motion on what are going to be motions to dismiss filed [Thursday]. It is conducting argument next Tuesday and then the court is set aside next Thursday as a trial date in case we need it,” Walczak said.

Kenny Cooper is a Hearken Election SOS Fellow who is helping the Capital-Star cover the 2020 presidential election and its aftermath. Follow him on Twitter @Kenny_Cooper_Jr

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.