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Trump may deploy federal agents to polling locations to suppress turnout: Election lawyers

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Department of Homeland Security agents in Portland (DHS photo via Twitter)

President Donald Trump caused national outrage when his administration deployed federal agents to cities around the country to engage with civil rights protesters.

But that could just be the beginning — according to Newsweek, election experts are fearful that the president may also try to send federal agents to polling places, intimidating people out of casting ballots.

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“The concern from election attorneys, many of whom work with Democrats, is two-fold,” wrote Adrian Carrasquillo. “In 2018, a consent decree expired first put in place in 1982 that restricted Republicans from engaging in so-called ‘ballot security’ activities like campaigns to guard against voter fraud without court approval. That decision by New Jersey district judge John Michael Vazquez, appointed by President Barack Obama, allowed Republicans to mount a sprawling $20 million program in 15 states that will include 50,000 volunteers, according to a New York Times report.”

Additionally, Carrasquillo wrote, “Election lawyers who spoke to Newsweek said they saw Trump’s tweet last week about possibly delaying the election as irrefutable evidence that he knows he’s losing to Joe Biden right now. They worry it means he might be willing to do anything to get an edge on Election Day.”

“Cornered dogs are always dangerous,” said Juan Carlos Planas, a longtime election lawyer who worked with multiple Republican presidential candidates before backing Joe Biden against Trump. “I fear it more in Wisconsin and in Michigan, where there are Democratic governors who Trump has criticized and whether or not they would have the ability to stop it.” Another lawyer affiliated with the Biden campaign said, “What if he deploys ICE to polling locations? If someone is intimidating voters you normally call cops, but what if he’s sending federal law enforcement?”

The worry, according to some of these experts, is that African-American and Hispanic voters will be targeted with accusations of voting illegally, which even if they are baseless could discourage them from voting.

Further complicating the issue is that states are making greater use of mail-in voting than ever before, with huge numbers of ballot requests and some states like Nevada and California moving to universal vote-by-mail elections.

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2020 Election

Outrage against Dianne Feinstein as potential Judiciary chair comes out against Senate reform

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) received harsh criticism on Monday after coming out against Senate reform of the filibuster.

“I don't believe in doing that. I think the filibuster serves a purpose," Feinstein argued.

"It is not often used, it's often less used now than when I first came, and I think it's part of the Senate that differentiates itself," Feinstein falsely claimed.

https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1308169580658012160

Feinstein is in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee if Democrats regain the Senate, despite never attending law school or having ever tried a case.

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2020 Election

Lindsey Graham announces embattled Sen. Joni Ernst will vote for whomever Trump nominates to replace RBG

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday announced that GOP members of the body would be united in voting for whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The nominee’s going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, as reported by The Washington Post's Aaron Blake.

https://twitter.com/AaronBlake/status/1308223330357518336

If Graham is correct, that would mean that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) would be backing the nomination, despite trailing Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.

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2020 Election

A Never-Trump Republican changed her mind — then crumbled when she tried to explain why

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In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Republican Danielle Pletka declared that despite the fact that she refused to vote for Donald Trump in 2016, she now feels compelled to support him in 2020. The piece quickly caught fire online, inspiring ridicule and sympathy from differing corners and triggering a surprising amount of discussion.

In one sense, it’s hard to see what the big deal was. The Post publishes opinion pieces in support of Trump frequently, and this one was not particularly special. Pletka herself is not a particularly notable figure. Like many op-eds, it was sloppy and unpersuasive, making huge leaps of reasoning and glossing over critical points in the argument. It didn’t take seriously any compelling counterarguments. It was, in other words, a mere display of partisan loyalty from a Republican who would prefer to be inside the tent than outside of it.

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