2020 Election Lawsuits

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2020 Election Lawsuits

#1

Post by DejaMoo »

Because they just won't stop trying.

2020 Election Litigation Tracker
Welcome to the 2020 Election Litigation Tracker, a joint project of Election Law at Ohio State and SCOTUSblog. During the 2020 election season, we will provide up-to-date information on major election law cases as they make their way through every level of the court system. Our goal is to serve as a resource on election law and administration for the general public, lawyers, educators, journalists and policymakers.
TIME:
Here Are All the Lawsuits the Trump Campaign Has Filed Since Election Day—And Why Most Are Unlikely to Go Anywhere
...In the past week alone, the Trump campaign blitzed state and federal courts with roughly a dozen new lawsuits, most attempting to halt the vote-counting process or disqualify tranches of ballots. The majority of the Trump campaign’s lawsuits were filed in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan—states where either Biden’s margin of victory is relatively slim, or where a winner has yet to be called.

“There’s literally nothing that I’ve seen yet with the meaningful potential to affect the final result,” Justin Levitt, a law professor at Loyola Law School, told TIME in an email.

Judges have already tossed out or ruled against Trump campaign suits in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan. State officials continue to count ballots in Nevada, North Carolina and Arizona, but the Trump campaign has not yet filed post-election litigation in those states.

In each state, we’ve listed all the relevant Trump campaign lawsuits, where things currently stand, and noted whether it’s likely to have any real impact on the outcome of the race.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#2

Post by bob »

"For completeness":


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#3

Post by Foggy »

I created a new subforum for Litigation to Overturn the Vote, and moved this thread into it.

I don't think there will be anything really earthshaking from a legal perspective, but we'll at least have it in one place.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#4

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

Thanks, deja and bob. I have tweeted these resources.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#5

Post by Dr. Caligari »

Foggy wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:29 pm I created a new subforum for Litigation to Overturn the Vote, and moved this thread into it.

I don't think there will be anything really earthshaking from a legal perspective, but we'll at least have it in one place.
Many thanks!


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#6

Post by Whatever4 »

My new favorite thread!


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#7

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer »

:fiesta: :bunny: :duel: :dogballoon: :mbounce: :cheer1: :cheer:


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#8

Post by Dan1100 »

As an interesting aside.
https://twitter.com/DaveBngDave/status ... 9277582339
Dave (We Did It!) Rublin
@DaveBngDave

And the guy representing Maricopa County against the Trump Campaign in the Arizona case is Tom Liddy, son of G Gordon Liddy. Which is hilarious!


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#9

Post by Volkonski »

Detroit Rips ‘Hearsay, Speculation and Conspiracy Theories’: It’s a Desperate Attempt to ‘Overturn’ Election

https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/d ... -election/
“This is one more in a series of ill-conceived cases filed in an attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election,” Detroit and its secretary clerk Janice Winfrey wrote in a motion on Wednesday. “Like other cases, this complaint relies on hearsay, speculation and unfounded conspiracy theories. And, as in other cases, the plaintiffs here cannot seriously argue that the ‘fraud’ they claim could have possibly influenced the outcome of this election.”

The Motor City brought the fire in 22-page motion, which said that supporters of lame-duck President Donald Trump only decided to contest the election after it became clear that their candidate lost.

“Importantly, plaintiffs did not come forward with their objections while the process was underway,” attorney David Fink wrote in the brief. “Although they are challengers, they did not bring formal challenges. Instead, they waited until the votes were cast, the count was well-underway, and their favored candidate was declared a loser in Michigan by the national news services, before deciding to challenge the process.”

:snippity:

As they did in Pennsylvania, the Trump supporters asked a judge to block certification of the Michigan results, but the relief requested in the Wolverine State’s lawsuit is even more breathtaking: void the results and start anew, request that Detroit finds more fitting for an authoritarian regime than a constitutional republic.
https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... -final.pdf


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#10

Post by Orlylicious »



Trump lawyers suffer embarrassing rebukes from judges over voter fraud claims
By Aaron Blake November 11, 2020 at 11:53 AM EST

By now, it’s well-established that most of the arguments put forward by President Trump’s reelection campaign in its challenge of the results of the 2020 election are baseless and highly speculative. Even Trump allies, as The Washington Post reported late Tuesday, acknowledge the apparent futility of the effort. Others have reasoned that there’s no harm in going through the motions, with one anonymous GOP official asking, “What’s the downside for humoring him” for a little while? But as scenes in courtrooms nationwide in recent days have shown, there is indeed a downside for those tasked with pursuing these claims. Repeatedly now, they have been rebuked by judges for how thin their arguments have been.

The most famous scene came in Pennsylvania, where a Trump lawyer strained to avoid acknowledging that their people were, in fact, allowed to observe the vote-counting process in Philadelphia:

At the city’s federal courthouse on Thursday evening, attorneys for Trump asked a judge to issue an emergency order to stop the count, alleging that all Republican observers had been barred.
Under sharp questioning from Judge Paul S. Diamond, however, they conceded that Trump in fact had “a nonzero number of people in the room,” leaving Diamond audibly exasperated.
“I’m sorry, then what’s your problem?” asked Diamond, who was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush. Denying Trump’s request, Diamond struck a deal for 60 observers from each party to be allowed inside.
At one point on Friday afternoon, 12 Republican observers and five Democrats were watching the count, according to a ballot counter who was working.

After that “nonzero” answer, Diamond pressed the Trump campaign lawyer to be more explicit — and he suggestively invoked their standing with the bar: “I’m asking you as a member of the bar of this court: Are people representing the plaintiffs in the room?” The lawyer responded more directly: “Yes.” By the end of the hearing, Diamond invoked his right to make sure lawyers in his courtroom acted in good faith.

Another Trump lawyer, Jonathan S. Goldstein, was also grilled by a Pennsylvania judge this week. Under questioning, he acknowledged that, contrary to Trump’s claims about rampant voter fraud, he wasn’t alleging fraud in the 592 ballots he sought to disqualify in Montgomery County, Pa. Again, Trump’s lawyer strained to avoid directly answering the question but was ultimately forced to acknowledge it:

THE COURT: In your petition, which is right before me — and I read it several times — you don’t claim that any electors or the Board of the County were guilty of fraud, correct? That’s correct?
GOLDSTEIN: Your Honor, accusing people of fraud is a pretty big step. And it is rare that I call somebody a liar, and I am not calling the Board of the [Democratic National Committee] or anybody else involved in this a liar. Everybody is coming to this with good faith. The DNC is coming with good faith. We’re all just trying to get an election done. We think these were a mistake, but we think they are a fatal mistake, and these ballots ought not be counted.
THE COURT: I understand. I am asking you a specific question, and I am looking for a specific answer. Are you claiming that there is any fraud in connection with these 592 disputed ballots?
GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present, no.
THE COURT: Are you claiming that there is any undue or improper influence upon the elector with respect to these 592 ballots?
GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present, no.

The Trump campaign also sought to temporarily stop counting some ballots in Detroit. It cited a GOP poll watcher who had said she had been told by an unidentified person that late mail ballots were being predated to before Election Day, so they would be considered valid. The judge repeatedly asserted this was hearsay, but Trump campaign lawyer Thor Hearne sought to argue that it wasn’t — despite it having been someone who said they heard about something they weren’t personally involved in. He pointed to a vague note the poll watcher produced — which said “entered receive date as 11/2/20 on 11/4/20” — as evidence:

STEPHENS: So I want to make sure I understand you. The affiant is not the person who had knowledge of this. Is that correct?
HEARNE: The affiant had direct firsthand knowledge of the communication with the elections inspector and the document they provided them.
STEPHENS: Okay, which is generally known as hearsay, right?
HEARNE: I would not think that’s hearsay, Your Honor. That’s firsthand personal knowledge by the affiant of what she physically observed. And we included an exhibit which is a physical copy of the note that she was provided.

The two later returned to the point, after Stephens reviewed the note, and Stephens echoed Judge Diamond’s exasperation:

STEPHENS: I’m still trying to understand why this isn’t hearsay.
HEARNE: Well, it’s, it, I –
STEPHENS: I absolutely understand what the affiant says she heard someone say to her. But the truth of the matter … that you’re going for was that there was an illegal act occurring. Because other than that I don’t know what its relevancy is.
HEARNE: Right. I would say, Your Honor, in terms of the hearsay point, this is a firsthand factual statement made by Ms. Connarn, and she has made that statement based on her own firsthand physical evidence and knowledge --
STEPHENS: “I heard somebody else say something.” Tell me why that’s not hearsay. Come on, now.
HEARNE: Well it’s a firsthand statement of her physical –
STEPHENS: It’s an out-of-court statement offered where the truth of the matter is [at-issue], right?

In a later written decision, Stephens slammed the argument as “inadmissible hearsay within hearsay.” And after the campaign appealed, Stephens rebuked it Monday for not including required documentation.

“I regret to inform you that your submission is defective,” Stephens said.

Another of the Trump team’s claims crumbled rather quickly in Georgia. In Chatham County, as in Michigan, the Trump campaign cited supposed evidence that 53 late ballots may have been predated so they could be counted. Except two witnesses they called acknowledged under oath that they didn’t know whether the ballots were received after the deadline. And two others for the local board of elections testified that they were, in fact, received on time. Judge James Bass dismissed the case in a one-sentence, eight-word ruling, saying, “I’m denying the request and dismissing the petition” and abruptly adjourned the hearing. He then elaborated in a written opinion, saying that “the Court finds that there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7:00 p.m. on election day, thereby making those ballots invalid. Additionally, there is no evidence that the Chatham County Board of Elections or the Chatham County Board of Registrars has failed to comply with the law.”

The common thread running through all of these is that Trump’s lawyers are regularly offering a significantly more watered-down version of Trump’s claims about rampant voter fraud — because they, unlike Trump, have to substantiate their claims. And as these exchanges show, it’s a rather thankless task that can quickly land them on a judge’s bad side.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... ud-claims/


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#11

Post by Uninformed »

Could all these lawsuits etc just be delaying tactics in an unlikely (?) attempt to effectively negate the election result(s)?


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#12

Post by Northland10 »

I am confused why they keep going about a city that gave Clinton 95% in 2016.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#13

Post by Volkonski »

Northland10 wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:15 pm I am confused why they keep going about a city that gave Clinton 95% in 2016.
That city is in a state that Trump needs to win but isn't winning.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#14

Post by bob »

Uninformed wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:04 pm Could all these lawsuits etc just be delaying tactics in an unlikely (?) attempt to effectively negate the election result(s)?
....yes?

Elections officials are under deadlines to certify the counts. If the impeached lame duck's lawyers hit a moonshot and get a judge who orders a pause in the counting, that affects the ability to certify the count in a timely manner. Which could, in theory, cascade into electors failing to be appointed. Which might unleash a nightmare scenario, like dueling slates of electors or throwing the election to the House.

But the real point of these lawsuits is not to win, but to delegitimize the process. So that around a third of the populace will refuse to acknowledge President Biden's legitimacy.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#15

Post by DejaMoo »

Uninformed wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:04 pm Could all these lawsuits etc just be delaying tactics in an unlikely (?) attempt to effectively negate the election result(s)?
One of the hypotheses is they're filing suits as a delaying tactic to justify blocking Biden's access to government stuff while they are busily working to cover up some shit. Personally, I find that less plausible than the idea that, as Will Somer has said, the Republicans have decided that if they can't win under democracy, they will abandon democracy to retain power.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#16

Post by Volkonski »

Adam Klasfeld

Twitter logo
27m, 12 tweets, 2 min read
"Watch Live: Judge Hears Lawsuit in Michigan That Seeks to Overturn Election Result."

I'll be covering live-tweeting, @lawcrimenews.

The plaintiffs' lawyer said they're not seeking to void the results today, but that's his demand in their complaint.

Watch Live: Judge Hears Lawsuit in Michigan That Seeks to Overturn Election Result
https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/w ... on-result/

Attorney David Kallman:

"They don't specifically refute the observations, and the specific claims of our affidavits."

The affidavits he's talking about now are not about voter fraud, but the distance to observe the counting.

Kallman complaint of "so-called COVID regulations, whatever those are," presumably referring to social distancing regulations.

The attorney then turns to a specific fraud claim.

The judge presses him on it.

Judge: Who are you contending will do this independent audit?

Kallman says that this is something that the court could direct, but the state constitution is silent about how that is done.

Attorney David Fink for Detroit is up:

"By now, we've seen this before..."

"It's starting to feel a little bit like Groundhog Day, but unlike Groundhog Day, this isn't funny at all."

Fink: These suits have given us an opportunity to give a deep dive in Michigan processes.

"This was a terrific process and it was handled properly."

"They say the number of challengers in the room was limited," never that GOP observers were left out.

Fink slams the plaintiff's lawyer Kallman for minimizing "so-called COVID regulations," as if social distancing is not necessary.

As for the allegations of "back-dating," Fink debunks that: "It was dating."

Fink debunks reports of fraud with fake birth dates of "Jan. 1, 1900."

Nobody wanting to commit voter fraud would do claim to be a 120-year-old, he says, noting it's a placeholder in the system.

Fink: "The concerns have been expressed. We looked at them. We looked closely at them." Detroit found them lacking.

He notes this is the fourth such case in Michigan.

Fink: "In 40 years of practice, I've never had this happen."

The new lawsuit attached another lawsuit as an exhibit.

"They are searching everywhere they can for validation of the conspiracy theories that they have."

Fink: "What we have to look at is the absurdity of the whole claim."

"Donald Trump received 5,000 more votes in Detroit in 2020 than he did in 2016. There was no complaint in the 2016 election."

Fink: "The courts are not supposed to get involved in the middle of an election, in the middle of the vote."

"Their remedy is a recount. To get to a recount, you have to have a certified election."

"Ironically," he adds, they're asking to block certification.

Fink slams the illogic at the heart of the plaintiffs' legal demand:

If they win, the judge blocks certification—which ultimately prevents them from getting the audit and recount that they supposedly want.

Fink turns to the "elephant in the room":

"There are always some delays, and there is always some harm in some delay."

But harm in a presidential election is the most harm.

"If the vote is delayed... the ultimate deadline could be missed: Dec. 14."

Fink:

"The electors can only meet if they are appointed."

That could mean that no candidate reaches 270 electors, and it's thrown into the House of Representatives or as some pundits claim, statehouses.

"Either scenario is desperately dangerous."

Fink says that if the judge grants any ruling, however small, in the plaintiffs' favor, it will send a message to the world validating unsubstantiated conspiracy theories of voter fraud.

Such a message "undermines the very bedrock of our democracy," he says.

Wayne County's attorney Janet Anderson-Davis is now up.

J. Paul Kirby
@JPaulKirby
·
1m
Replying to
@KlasfeldReports
All of the attorneys are taking 40 minutes to recite 10 minutes of content.

Adam Klasfeld
@KlasfeldReports
Replying to
@KlasfeldReports
The state's Democratic party's attorney John M. Devaney is now up.
3:23 PM · Nov 11, 2020·Twitter Web Ap

Devaney starts with issues of standing.

His client's message in the legal brief: "The people of Michigan have spoken.”

ICYMI:
https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/w ... on-result/

Image

Kallman, for the plaintiffs, is back up.

Judge Kenny is pressing him on their unsubstantiated voter fraud charges.

Kallman again handwaves the COVID-19 pandemic: "Mr. Devaney says that we're in a pandemic and all that."

Kallman claims they were forcing observers to stand 20 feet away.

The judge asks him for evidence of that.

Kallman quickly retreats from the 20-feet claim.

Judge Kenn asks Kallman to respond to the allegation in Detroit's brief that poll challengers broke Michigan law by intimidating ballot-counters with chants of "Stop the vote."

Kallman says his clients weren't the ones doing that.

"So what?" he asks.

Kallman adds that he doesn't support that kind of chanting, but it has nothing to do with the case.

Asked whether anyone filed formal challenged, Kallman suggests vaguely that some may have or tried to, but he doesn't state specifics.

Judge Kenny does not rule from the bench, saying that he will issue a written opinion at a later time.

It will be available Friday.
• • •


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#17

Post by Orlylicious »

Marc Elias helpfully mentioned that now the Trump campaign is 0-12 on court cases since Election Day.

They are headed for Birther Scorecard-like success! :lol:


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#18

Post by RTH10260 »

NYT Direct Newsletter wrote:Trump’s unsavory post-election practices

When President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus declared an implausible landslide victory in an election in August, the United States and other Western nations denounced what they said was brazen defiance of the voters’ will.

But just months later, President Trump and various of his supporters are borrowing from Mr. Lukashenko’s playbook in declaring Mr. Trump the winner of an election — despite all evidence to the contrary. The Times called officials in every state, representing both political parties. None reported any major voting issues, in a forceful rejection of Mr. Trump’s narrative.

Mr. Trump’s actions place him among other such anti-democratic leaders as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela and Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia. Experts warn he risks “creating a new model” for like-minded populists in Europe and elsewhere.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#19

Post by RVInit »

Orlylicious wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:06 am Marc Elias helpfully mentioned that now the Trump campaign is 0-12 on court cases since Election Day.

They are headed for Birther Scorecard-like success! :lol:
:rotflmao: That's a zinger for sure. Besides being funny it also shows this is conspiracy theory crap we are seeing playing out in the courts once again. Just like the birther crap.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#20

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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#21

Post by Volkonski »

Adam Klasfeld
@KlasfeldReports
·
4m
An evidentiary hearing is about to begin in Arizona's Maricopa County in a suit involving the debunked 'Sharpiegate' conspiracy, rebranded as 'Marking Device'-gate after the Trump campaign jumped in as a plaintiff.

Follow the live-tweet at
@LawCrimeNews

Matt Whitaker, a former Trump AG who was on the board of directors for a company the FTC called a "scam," is on the line.

Judge Kiley is on the line.

Judge Kiley: "This hearing is set for five hours."

One of the defendants moves to exclude supposed evidence that explicitly says:

"Please let me know if anything in here is false."

"There are no indicia of trustworthiness," the attorney says, referring to the exhibits.

Such "witnesses" would not be cross-examined, he adds.

Plaintiff's lawyer claims he knows the witnesses were real because the site has a CAPTCHA, culling bots from the list.

Defendants' lawyer: "There is an inherent level of untrustworthiness of documents filed in anticipation of litigation."

Let alone ones created after the fact to support their preferred candidate.

"What he's asking the court to do" is to hand the court hundreds of documents from an online form, defendant's lawyer says.

"These documents are inherently untrustworthy."

Counsel for intervenor DNC asks the court to stick to the rules of civil procedure.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#22

Post by Estiveo »

Whittaker is the big dong toilet guy, right? The one who looks like an anthropomorphic roll on deodorant?


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#23

Post by Volkonski »

Adam Klasfeld
@KlasfeldReports
·
2m
Replying to
@KlasfeldReports
Judge Kiley presses the Trump campaign:

Their solicitation of witnesses produced sworn affidavits that his own investigation determined were "clearly false," "spam as you put it."

The ones they could not prove were false, they submitted to the court.

Trump camp: "Correct."

Judge Kiley: "This is concerning."

"How is that a reliable process of gathering evidence?"

Kory Langhofer

That's the name of the Trump campaign attorney insisting that those form-produced sworn affidavits are somehow reliable even though a subset of them were false.

Because the form had a CAPTCHA.

Langhofer insists: "We've excluded everything that has the indicia of unreliability."

Judge Kiley responds: That's not an indicia of trustworthiness of the remaining affidavits. That just shows you can't disprove what's asserted.

Judge Kiley grants the motion in limine excluding the dodgy exhibits.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#24

Post by Volkonski »

A CAPTCHA distinguishes between human made and machine made inputs. It does nothing to determine whether the inputs are true or false.


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Re: 2020 Election Lawsuits

#25

Post by Volkonski »

Maggie Haberman
@maggieNYT
·
2m
NEW - Corey Lewandowski, Trump adviser who's been working on efforts to bring lawsuits alleging illegal election activity in specific states, tested positive for COVID yesterday per a person briefed. Lewandowski had been in Philly for days and believes he contracted it there.


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