Victory! Federal Court Denies NJ Democrats Attempt to Stop Oath Keepers Poll Watchers
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Jose L. Linares honored his oath to defend the Constitution when he denied a motion for an injunction by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, which sought to stop the NJ Oath Keepers from being able to conduct our poll observing/reporting Operation Sabot. Oath Keepers has instructed its members to go out, incognito, into the public on election day to look for, spot, record, and report any suspected vote fraud or intimidation. The good Judge (who truly deserves to be called “Honorable”) pointed out that the Democrats had presented no evidence to support their claims that would show they would later be successful on the merits if given an injunction. Motion DENIED!
This was a great victory for the Constitution and for the right of all Americans to participate in the electoral process, even if the mainstream media and leftists partisans (the same thing, really) don’t like us. It is good to see that there are still some judges with integrity and devotion to equal rights and the law in this nation.
The complaint by the NJ Democrats falsely alleged that Oath Keepers was using its call to action – to watch out for vote fraud and intimidation – as mere cover and alleged that Oath Keepers’ real intent was actually to intimidate minority voters. Of course, they presented no evidence of this supposed intent, other than unsubstantiated character assassination, (ie, these are “right wing extremists” who clearly must be doing this for nefarious purposes, because, because, well, because they are “right wing extremists” and vote fraud does not exist – despite there being .gov hotlines devoted to investigating it – so their only purpose must be to intimidate brown and black people, because … did we mention that the are “right wing extremists”?).
The claim that we are doing this to intimidate minority voters is all the more absurd considering that one of the primary architects of our Operation Sabot is a current serving black law enforcement officer, Greg McWhirter. Greg is one of our Oath Keepers National Police Officer Liaisons, and is now also on our National Board of Directors, and he is one of four Oath Keepers cops who took lead in establishing the guidelines and directives for our members to follow as they look for possible criminal activity on Election Day. Greg, along with the other officers, appears in the Youtube video we posted to give guidance to our members.
[ot-video type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZALIhqzMEM”]
Here is what Greg has to say about this victory over false accusations of racist intent to intimidate minority voters:
My fellow Oath Keepers, it feels fantastic to be vindicated.
When we launched Operation Sabot we received a huge amount of negative press and commentary from organizations, authors, and individuals who opposed the idea of our election monitoring. Even though in almost every county in almost every state, there are volunteers doing exactly that. We at Oath Keepers firmly believe that no matter who you are voting for, it is your natural-born right to participate in elections, to cast your vote, and to have your vote counted. So my fellow Oath Keepers, as you go out to monitor polling places and to document any voter fraud or intimidation from ether side, know that your actions have been challenged and vindicated as legal by a Federal District Judge. Furthermore, go out knowing that if you are following our plan and directives to the letter, that any legal challenges you may face now have an established case where it was challenged in a federal court, and we won.
To the authors, journalists, bloggers, media and keyboard warriors out there that oppose us, let me say that again, it does not matter who you are voting for; Oath Keepers will protect your right to participate in your elections as an American citizen. Our Operation Sabot is about that right. It does not matter if you are going to vote for Hillary, it does not matter if you are going to vote for Trump, or a third party candidate, what matters is that your right to vote and your vote being counted, is protected. While we may see the two parties and their volunteers out there monitoring polling sites, elector, and vote counts, we Oath Keepers are doing it without a dog in the fight, without bias to either party. – Greg McWhirter
Greg McWhirter was born and raised in the inner city of Indianapolis. He served as a Marion County Deputy for 11 years until 2015, when he took a law enforcement position in Montana. He serves on the Oath Keepers BOD and as a National LEO Liaison.
Given the libelous claims of racism being carelessly thrown around by partisan leftists, I think it important to also note that one of the leaders in the New Jersey Oath Keepers is another black man, Kieth Pantaleon (who serves as their Public Affairs Officer). Here is a photo of Keith and I, from the 2016 NY Oath Keepers Annual Dinner Banquet where firebrand black Sheriff David Clark was the keynote speaker:
A black Oath Keeper NJ state leader poses with the 1/4 Mexican, part Native American Founder of Oath Keepers. Just your typical white racists, according to the radical left dominated Democratic party and “mainstream” media.
Our skin color shouldn’t matter, and certainly we should not have to show our racial diversity in order to have a right to engage in the political process. Wasn’t this the ideal of MLK?:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. – Martin Luther King
Obviously, our leftist opponents don’t believe in that principle.
Yesterday, when opposing counsel informed us that the Judge would not be holding a hearing and would issue a decision shortly, we were concerned about not having an opportunity to be heard (we were still scrambling to find legal counsel in NJ), so Greg and I called the Judge’s chambers to ask for at least a telephonic hearing. We also offered to send NJ Oath Keeper leader Keith Pantaleon in to appear on our behalf in person, for a hearing. But we were informed that was not necessary. After reading the Judge’s decision, we now know why – the Judge did not need to see that we are, in fact, a non-racist org made up of all races, and thus the charges of racist intent to intimidate black and Hispanic Americans was absurd. All he needed to see was that the Democrats had presented no evidence to support their claim. Hat’s off to a good judge. Here is an excerpt from the decision:
Plaintiff argues that Defendant organization, the New Jersey Oath Keepers, have called upon their members to “intimidate lawful voters from exercising their right to vote, targeting in particular minority voters.” (Pl.’s Br. at 11). Plaintiff chiefly relies upon Defendant’s “Call to Action” to its members, which was posted on the New Jersey Oath Keepers’ website on October 26, 2016. (ECF No. 1, Compl. ¶ 23). This “Call to Action” requests its members’ help to “prevent criminal voter intimidation on election day, 2016.” (Id.). The Call proceeds as follows: [W]e call on you to form up incognito intelligence gathering and crime spotting teams and go out into the public on election day, dressed to blend in with the public, without any Oath Keepers hat or T shirt on, and with video, still camera, and notepad in hand, to look for and document suspected criminal vote fraud or intimidation activities, by any individuals, groups, or parties, and then report these incidents to your local police. (Id.). Plaintiff has not explained how compliance with the above directive is likely to result in voter intimidation.
While Plaintiff alleges that “it is a fair conclusion that the polling of interest to Defendant will be located in high minority voting districts,” Plaintiff has not offered any evidence or factual pleadings sufficient to support this conclusion. Additionally, unlike Daschle where defendants’ planned actions of following Native Americans to the polls appears to have been taken in an open and obvious manner, here, Defendant has requested that its members proceed “incognito” and “dressed to blend in with the public.” (Pl.’s Br., Exh. C, at 4). Although Defendant has instructed its members to film groups of people who appear to be traveling to multiple polling locations, the Oath Keepers have directed their members “NOT [to] film in an obvious manner. In general, stay out of view and observe at a distance. Observe and record covertly, report accurately.” (Id.) (emphasis in original). The Oath Keepers further advise their members to “make it hard on the criminal bad guys to know if they are being observed and filmed.” (Id.). As such, the Court fails to see how Defendant’s members could intimidate voters who are not even aware of their presence.
Download the entire decision PDF here: 16-cv-8230-opinion-11-7-16.
As the Judge noted, in our call to action, and in that video tutorial for our members, we specifically instructed Oath Keepers members to remain incognito, without wearing Oath Keepers hats or shirts, to not confront anyone, and to merely observe and look for potential criminal activity (either vote fraud or intimidation). We also instructed them to look for criminal activity by anyone, of any party or political affiliation, that appeared to be committing vote fraud or intimidation, and report it all.
We here at Oath Keepers positively despise all racists, of whatever color, and we also despise liars and partisan hacks (and that includes partisan hack lawyers). Chalk this one up as a victory for truth, justice and the American way!
For the Republic,
PS – and yes, if we need to, we will trot out our Jewish members too. But do we really need to do that? What a sad spectacle our politics has become in this nation, that anyone who expresses constitutionalist, libertarian, or conservative views is branded “RAAACISTS!” and must then prove they are not, by showing racial diversity in their membership. Not that this will stop the prestitutes from continuing to smear us as somehow being racists – our “About” page has featured interviews with black Oath Keepers and a mixed-race couple for years, and that hasn’t stopped the leftist media from distorting who we are by intentionally and falsely lumping us in with actual racists – looks like we will just have to start suing the hell out of them for defamation of character and libel. And we will. Stay tuned.