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A Dubious Lawsuit Favorable to Clinton May Undermine Nevada Caucuses

The Nevada State Education Association, which is backing Hillary in the state’s caucuses, filed an interesting lawsuit that deserves a closer look.
Late Friday, the Nevada State Education Association, which is backing Hillary Clinton in the state's upcoming caucuses, filed an interesting lawsuit that deserves a closer look.
The Nevada caucuses are a week away, and the state teachers' union has decided to throw a monkey-wrench into the legalities of the process. The Nevada State Education Association has filed suit against the state Democratic Party, on the grounds that the nine at-large caucus locations set up on the Las Vegas Strip make it too easy for workers there to caucus, while no similar accommodations have been made for other Nevadans.
Those workers, if they can come out and caucus, are expected to vote heavily for Barack Obama, who won the Culinary Workers Union endorsement this past Wednesday.
"This has been a fully transparent process," state Democratic party spokeswoman Kirsten Searer told the Las Vegas Sun. "These rules have been approved by the Democratic National Committee and the campaigns have been fully informed throughout this process, which started in May."
Here's the deal: the state party created "at-large" casino precincts about eight months ago, so that casino employees (most notably, union members) would be able to participate in the Democratic causes easily and conveniently. At the time, the Nevada Democratic Party said the precincts were designed for the "4,000 or more shift workers per site who could not otherwise take the time off to go to their home precincts."

The Nevada State Education Association never complained about the "at-large" precincts -- until Obama won the support of the Culinary Workers Union, whose members mostly work near these precincts. Given the timing and the circumstances, it certainly appears that the NSEA wants Clinton to have an advantage, so the group is suing to eliminate these precincts, making it harder for other union members to participate in the election process.

This is very disappointing. We're Democrats -- don't we want to make it easier for people (especially union members and minorities) to vote?

Indeed, the closer one looks at this, the worse it appears.
Steve Benen is a freelance writer/researcher and creator of The Carpetbagger Report. In addition, he is the lead editor of Salon.com's Blog Report, and has been a contributor to Talking Points Memo, Washington Monthly, Crooks & Liars, The American Prospect, and the Guardian.