Yesterday, a federal court ruled in favor of the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and its clients in Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, et. al. v. Donald J. Trump, et. al., a lawsuit alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act and another federal civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1985, by former President Trump, the Trump Campaign, and the Republican National Committee. LDF and co-counsel Jenner & Block represent the NAACP and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization in this case.
The Court’s ruling will allow LDF and co-counsel to proceed with filing a second amended complaint on behalf of the Plaintiffs. The Complaint alleges that former President Trump sought to prevent the counting and certification of legally cast ballots in an effort to overturn the will of the voters and ensure that then-President Trump remained in office despite losing the 2020 election. The Complaint further alleges that there is a substantial risk that President Trump, and the other Defendants, will engage in similar election subversion measures in the future, in violation of Plaintiffs’ federal civil rights.
In its opinion allowing the case to proceed, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia noted: “The Court is…cognizant that the individual Plaintiffs are Black voters who are particularly targeted by Former President Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud. The Court concludes that Plaintiffs have adequately alleged, for the purposes of the Motion to Amend, that the Trump Defendants not only caused great harm to Plaintiffs in the past but also pose a very substantial risk in the future to Plaintiff’s fundamental right to vote.”
“This decision is a victory for Black voters who were directly impacted by the various tactics engaged in by President Trump and other Defendants to prevent the counting of legally cast ballots and the certification of election results in an attempt to ensure that President Trump would remain in office despite losing the 2020 presidential election,” said Sam Spital, LDF’s Director of Litigation and LDF’s lead counsel in the case. “We are pleased that the Court agreed that there is an imminent risk of similar election subversion attempts happening in the future and that it will allow the case to move forward.”
On November 20, 2020, LDF filed a complaint on behalf of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and three Detroit residents in a lawsuit challenging President Trump and the Trump Campaign’s ongoing efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by disenfranchising Black voters in Michigan, specifically efforts to pressure state and local officials not to count or certify votes. On December 21, 2020, LDF filed an amended complaint, adding NAACP as a Plaintiff and the Republican National Committee as a Defendant, as well as further allegations of Defendants’ conduct in systematically seeking to disenfranchise voters in numerous states during and after the 2020 election cycle.
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.