top of page
  • Karen Fletcher

The Republican National Committee Consent Decree of 1982 (Opinion)

Constantly we hear “What is the Republican Party doing? Why is the RNC not doing more to protect our voter integrity?” The answer involves the Consent Decrees that the RNC and the New Jersey Republican State Committee entered into in 1982.

What is a consent decree? A consent decree is an agreement or settlement that resolves a dispute between two parties without the admission of guilt in a civil or criminal case. The plaintiff and defendant ask the court to enter into their agreement. Frequently consent decrees are used by federal courts to ensure businesses and industries adhere to regulatory laws in areas such as antitrust law, discrimination and environment regulation. The three steps start with a lawsuit; move to reaching an agreement between the parties; and then to a court ruling on the issues of the agreement. At this point the court turns the agreement into a judicial decree. It is interesting that the judge who signs the decree may have involvement to monitor the implementation and act as overseer to assure the defendant preforms as agreed in the decree. Unfortunately for the RNC, the Consent Decree is more binding than those issued by the invitum or against an unwilling party and is subject to modification by the same court that issued the decree. (1)

As it turns out many Americans were not born at that time, have forgotten or did not know that in 1981 the DNC sued the Republican National Party for allegedly trying to intimidate voters in highly predominant Democratic areas of New Jersey. This occurred in a highly contested 1981 gubernatorial contest. The DNC claimed that the RNC hired off duty police officers to patrol the polling places of minority precincts. It was stated that officers wore armbands that read “National Ballot Security Task Force” and in addition some officers had two-way radios and firearms. The Consent Decree was filed on November 1, 1982.

The Consent Decree in November of 1982 started almost 40 years of silencing the Republican National Committee efforts in voter integrity and working the voting polls. What did they agree to in 1982? I have included an abbreviated list for you to see and will give a better understanding why the RNC has been silent for so many years. The following information is taken directly from the United States District Court District of New Jersey’s documents: Civil Action No. 81-03876. Carter appointee District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise was the presiding judge in this case.

(e) Refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their employees to campaign within the restricted polling areas or to interrogate prospective voters as to their qualifications to vote prior to their entry to a polling place

(f) refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct or the actual conduct of such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting and the conduct of such activities

Written by Susan Ruch

February 19, 2022

disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose. (2)

After reading the court order, we now understand why the Republican Party has been silent for decades on voter fraud and other issues with the polls. Since 1982, the Consent Decree had been renewed every year by the original judge. District Judge Debevoise, who even after he retired, returned year after year for the sole purpose of renewing his 1982 order for an additional year. Judge Debevoise died in August 2015.

How did this corrupting decree come to an end? Thankfully for the Republicans, another federal judge appointed by President Obama, John Michael Vazquez, U.S.D.J. was to oversee the Consent Decree in 2017 when the Democrat Party tried to extend it, claiming that the 2016

Trump presidential campaign had colluded with the RNC in voter intimidation efforts, and that

Trump’s commission to examine suspected Democratic voter fraud was, in the words of Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), “a thinly veiled voter suppression effort”. Sean Spicer, who had been a top RNC official before entering the Trump White House as spokesman, testified there was no collusion of the Trump campaign with the RNC, and that the RNC had stayed away from all 2016 election day activities, including any voter-intimidation, voter suppression or ballot security efforts. Nor did any party officials discuss voter fraud allegations with the Trump campaign. Spicer said: “It had been abundantly clear for the six years that I worked at the RNC and that the RNC and its employees were prohibited from engaging in Election Day activities, including poll watching, so I intentionally stayed away from all of that”.

Spicer’s testimony proved there was no collusion. After Spicer’s compelling testimony the presiding judge, U.S. District Court Judge, John Michael Vazquez was asked to allow the 1982 Consent Decree to expire. It was reported by the on January 9, 2018, Judge Vazquez ruled that the Democratic Nation Committee did not prove that the RNC violated the Consent Decree prior to its December 1, 2017 expiration date. With that Judge Vazquez, an Obama appointee, ended the noxious 1982 Consent Decree legal agreement between the RNC and the DNC which had tied the Republican’s parties’ hands from contesting elections and investigating voter fraud for 36 years. (3)

For 36 years, the Democrats have had an unfair advantage in working the polls. Each year our elections have become more corrupt to the point we don’t trust our elections. Thankfully, Republicans can now be actively involved at the polls, so please do your part and get involved in poll working and poll watching. Americans need Fair and Honest elections!

(1) Consent decree – wikipedia

(2) 11-05-2016 Order.pdf (

(3) End of 1982 Consent Decree: GOP Finally can contest vote fraud after 36 years-investment Watch (

1,296 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page