A federal judge in Newark, N.J., on Thursday set an expedited schedule for action on the Democratic National Committee’s claims that the Republican National Committee is joining with the Donald Trump presidential campaign in an illegal effort to intimidate minority voters (see the post below).
U.S. District Judge John Michael Vasquez (who has been on the bench only since January) was assigned the case one day after the DNC filed, and he held an afternoon conference by telephone Thursday with lawyers for both sides. He promptly issued an order that could lead to a decision by next week.
The DNC has asked the judge to hold the RNC in contempt of court for allegedly violating an existing consent decree that settled earlier disputes over voter intimidation by the GOP. The DNC also asked that the consent decree be extended eighto years; it has been due to expire in December 2017.
Judge Vasquez refused to issue any immediate orders against the RNC, but indicated that he plans to rule swiftly after the two sides file legal briefs, all of which are due by next Tuesday afternoon.
The judge scheduled a hearing for next Wednesday at 10 a.m., but he said that might be delayed a bit if he gives the DNC permission to file information requests to the RNC to fill out details of the alleged violations.
The election is scheduled for a week from next Tuesday, so the DNC had asked for swift action by the court.