Ohio Democrats filed an emergency plea to the Supreme Court on Sunday night (6 November), asking that the high court restore an injunction prohibiting Donald Trump's campaign from taking action that could intimidate voters. The last-ditch plea hopes the justices will reimpose a restraining order which a federal appeals court lifted earlier on Sunday.
The emergency application is expected to face an uphill battle as the Supreme Court is locked 4-4 between Democratic and Republican appointees, Politico reported.
The state's Democratic Party sued the Republican nominee's campaign, the Ohio Republican Party, Trump ally Roger Stone and his group Stop the Steal, over plans to uncover fraud at polling stations, according to The Hill.
US District Court Judge James Gwin, a Democratic appointee, imposed a restraining order on Friday (4 November) against Trump's campaign, Stone and Stop the Steal.
Gwin's injunction banned a number of activities at or near the polls, including following or photographing voters or their vehicles or talking about the penalties for voter fraud. The judge, who denied the request for a restraining order against the Ohio Republican Party, also barred similar actions at or near the polls by "groups affiliated with the Clinton for Presidency campaign."
The injunction was later lifted by a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals after Trump's campaign appealed. According to Politico, the appeals court judges said the Ohio Democrats failed to meet their burden to receive the injunction they got.
"We conclude that the Plaintiff did not demonstrate before the district court a likelihood of success on the merits, and that all of the requisite factors weigh in favour of granting the stay," the appeals court judges wrote. Politico noted that all three judges, Alice Batchelder, John Rogers and Richard Griffin, are Republican appointees.
Trump has repeatedly claimed the election is rigged against him and has urged supporters to remain vigilant for voter fraud. The GOP nominee holds a slight lead over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the Ohio battleground state, with the latest CBS News/YouGov poll putting him ahead by a 46% to 45%.