A federal judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order against Republican nominee Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, as well as Trump ally Roger Stone and Stone’s political group, Stop the Steal, barring them from engaging in any “harassing or intimidating conduct” at the polls on Election Day.
“It wouldn’t be an attempt to particularly identify somebody as being a Trump supporter or not,” Gwin said.
But the decision was a big win for the Ohio Democratic Party, which filed a last-minute lawsuit against Trump’s campaign less than a week ago.
Gwin’s opinion followed more than two hours of oral arguments Friday morning, and was first reported by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
The judge declined to issue a restraining order against the Ohio Republican Party, citing a lack of evidence. The Ohio GOP was one of the groups, along with the Trump campaign and Stop the Steal, named in the original lawsuit.
And while Gwin stressed that his order will likely be even-handed and apply to everyone, Republican or Democrat, his decision not to include the state Republican Party in the restraining order reflected the relative strength of the evidence against the Trump campaign and Stop the Steal.
Trump has been stoking fears of a “rigged” and “stolen” election for months, encouraging his supporters to vote first, and then travel to polling places in urban neighborhoods to watch for “voter fraud.” Stop the Steal is actively recruiting Trump supporters to act as volunteer “exit pollers” to conduct sham exit polls in urban precincts. Both efforts have been widely criticized as racist.
In the Ohio case, the Republican Party argued that it had nothing to do with whatever was going on with the Trump campaign and with Stop the Steal. The Trump campaign claimed that quotes from Trump did not amount to evidence of a plan to intimidate voters. It also argued that a restraining order would have a “chilling effect” on free speech.
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