Free Speech For People represents the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Minnesota (CAIR-MN) and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota in a federal lawsuit against a private mercenary contractor, Atlas Aegis, for voter intimidation in Minnesota. The complaint alleges that Atlas Aegis’s plan to hire and deploy armed ex-soldiers to polling sites in the state constitutes illegal voter intimidation under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We are seeking a court order to stop the defendants’ unlawful conduct and to protect the fundamental right to vote. Free Speech For People is pleased to partner with the law firms of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP, and Lathrop GPM LLP in this litigation.

On October 29, 2020, the District Court granted landmark relief prohibiting Atlas Aegis from deploying armed agents within 2,500 feet of Minnesota polling places or threatening to intimidate voters, and mandated disclosure of the individuals or entities that had contracted for such paramilitary services.

Key Facts

Caption CAIR Minnesota v. Atlas Aegis
Court Federal District Court of Minnesota
Docket No.

0:20-cv-02195

Status Complaint filed; TRO hearing Monday 10/26
Plaintiffs Council on American-Islamic Relations of Minnesota (CAIR-MN) and League of Women Voters of Minnesota
Defendants Atlas Aegis LLC

Background

On October 6, 2020 an advertisement for armed security on election day in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area appeared on job posting websites. Interviews with Anthony Caudle, the chairman of Atlas Aegis, in The Washington Post confirmed the authenticity of the advertisements and threatening to send ex-special forces soldiers to polling places in Minnesota. Atlas Aegis’s plan to hire and deploy armed ex-soldiers to polling sites in the state constitutes illegal voter intimidation under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Free Speech For People represents The Council on American-Islamic Relations of Minnesota (CAIR-MN) and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota in a federal lawsuit against a private mercenary contractor, Atlas Aegis, for voter intimidation in Minnesota. We are seeking a court order to stop the defendants’ unlawful conduct and to protect the fundamental right to vote.

“Today we affirm our stand against this clear plan of voter intimidation and suppression by armed forces targeting communities of color and new Americans,” says Jaylani Hussein, the Executive Director of CAIR-Minnesota.

“The kind of voter intimidation that this group has planned is exactly what the Voting Rights Act was written to protect against,” says Michelle Witte, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota.

“The threat of sending armed mercenaries to voting stations during the presidential election is not just a brazen attempt to intimidate voters and suppress their vote; it is a grave threat to our democracy,” says Ben Clements, Board Chair and Senior Legal Advisor for Free Speech For People, which is serving as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

We are pleased to partner with the law firms of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP, and Lathrop GPM LLP in this litigation.

Major Case Developments and Documents