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Civil Rights

Detroit Residents Sue Trump, Claiming that the President is Trying to Disenfranchise Black Voters

— November 24, 2020

The lawsuit claims that Trump is actively trying to intimidate local officials into discarding legally-cast ballots.

Detroit residents have launched a lawsuit against the Trump administration, claiming the president’s objection to ballot certification in Michigan’s largest city is little more than a ploy to disenfranchise Black voters. reports that the lawsuit was filed by a coalition of Black Detroit voters, supported by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization.

According to, the MWRO and lead plaintiffs Maureen Taylor, Nicole Hill, and Teasha Jones lodged their complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this week. They are represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

In the suit, NAACP attorneys accused the Trump administration of attempting to disenfranchise voters by selectively applying political pressure in battleground states.

“Having unsuccessfully filed numerous unsuccessful lawsuits, defendants have now turned to a new strategy: Pressure state and local officials not to certify election results in key states and then have state legislatures override the will of the voters by installing President Trump’s slate of electors,” the lawsuit says.

The plaintiffs, notes, are asking the courts to declare that President Trump and his re-election campaign have violated Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by intimidating and coercing elections officials into discounting legally-cast ballots.

Detroit. Image via Public domain.

They have also asked that a judge block Trump from further pressuring election officials to bend to his will.

Trump, allegedly, had tried to convince Michigan legislators and canvassers to not certify ballot counts—and to instead appoint an unlawful slate of electors that would hand the state’s electoral votes to the sitting president.

However, Trump lost 2020 election to Joe Biden by more than 150,000 votes.

The lawsuit recognizes that Black voters—especially voters in Detroit, Michigan’s most populous city—played a pivotal role in ensuring Trump’s defeat. And that, by filing numerous lawsuits requesting that ballots in the city be thrown out for undefined “irregularities,” the commander-in-chief is essentially trying to rob Black Americans of their right to vote.

“Defendants’ tactics repeat the worst abuses in our nation’s history, as Black Americans were denied a voice in American democracy for most of the first two centuries of the Republic,” the lawsuit states.

President Trump, adds ABC News, had earlier summoned two of Michigan’s state legislative leaders—Senate Majority Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, both Republicans—to the White House.

While details of the conversation are not fully public, the president appears to have at least discussed the possibility of further election interference with the two.

After the meeting, though, Shirkey and Chatfield issued a joint statement pledging to follow ordinary procedures.

“We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors,” they said.


Black Detroit voters sue Donald Trump over attempt to nullify their votes

Black Detroit voters sue Trump campaign over effort to invalidate election results

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