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On its Web page, the NBPP said the Philadelphia chapter was suspended from operations and would not be recognized until further notice. It said the organization did not condone or promote the carrying of nightsticks or any kind of weapon at any polling place.

“We are intelligent enough to understand that a polling place is a sensitive site and all actions must be carried out in a civilized and lawful manner,” it said.

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Witnesses who supported the Justice Department case said they were surprised by the reversal.

Stephen R. Morse, a blogger hired by Republicans to be at the polls and who videotaped the confrontation, said the NBPP members blatantly used racial insults on would-be voters and other poll watchers, telling one man, “Cracker, you about to be ruled by a black man.”

Mr. Morse, a University of Pennsylvania alumnus, said he was “outraged” that the complaint was dismissed, saying he hoped Democrats would join Mr. Smith and Mr. Wolf in attempting to ensure that the incident “doesn’t become a partisan issue, but rather an issue of right vs. wrong.”

Chris Hill, national director of operations for a Gathering of Eagles, an organization dedicated to the support of U.S. troops, said the NBPP members visibly intimidated voters with racial slurs as they tried to enter the building.

Mr. Hill, a U.S. Army veteran who also served as a Philadelphia poll watcher for Republicans, said several voters at the location said they were afraid. He said the NBPP members tried to deny him access to the poll although he was a certified poll watcher, telling him, “White power don’t rule here.”

A Justice Department memo also says that a black couple, Larry and Angela Counts, both Republican poll watchers, told authorities they were scared, worried about their safety and concerned about leaving the polling place at the end of the day because of the actions of the NBPP members. Mrs. Counts said she wondered whether someone might “bomb the place” and Mr. Counts said the NBPP members called him a “race traitor,” the memo said.

U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell in Philadelphia entered default judgments against the NBPP members April 2 after ordering them to plead or otherwise defend themselves. They refused to appear in court or file motions in answer to the government’s complaint. Two weeks later, the judge ordered the Justice Department to file its motions for default judgments by May 1 — a ruling that showed the government had won its case.

The men also have not returned calls from The Times seeking comment.

On May 1, Justice sought an extension of time and during the tumultuous two weeks that followed the career front-line lawyers tried to persuade their bosses to proceed with the case.

The matter was even referred to the Appellate Division for a second opinion, an unusual event for a case that hadn’t even reached the appeals process.

Appellate Chief Diana K. Flynn said in a May 13 memo obtained by The Times that the appropriate action was to pursue the default judgment unless the department had evidence the court ruling was based on unethical conduct by the government.

She said the complaint was aimed at preventing the “paramilitary style intimidation of voters” at polling places elsewhere and Justice could make a “reasonable argument in favor of default relief against all defendants and probably should.” She noted that the complaint’s purpose was to “prevent the paramilitary style intimidation of voters” while leaving open “ample opportunity for political expression.”

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