13 Dec Case Updates: Week of Dec. 7-11
on 12/13/2020 in Case News & Commentary
- In Bowyer v. Ducey, a U.S. District Judge granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in a case brought by attorney Sidney Powell alleging a wide variety of violations, including some related to the state’s use of Dominion Voting Systems’ hardware and software. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
- In Ward v. Jackson, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the decision of a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge who dismissed a case filed by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party. The lawsuit sought to annul the state’s election due to alleged illegalities regarding signature verification. The plaintiff subsequently filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- In Boland v. Raffensperger, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint contesting the results of the Presidential election. The plaintiffs had alleged that Georgia’s Secretary of State permitted non-residents to vote and failed to verify voter signatures as required by state law.
- In Pearson v. Kemp, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a complaint filed by attorney Sidney Powell alleging a wide variety of state and federal law violations including some related to the state’s use of Dominion Democracy Suite software and devices that allegedly led to statewide ballot fraud. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 11th Circuit and subsequently an emergency petition in the U.S. Supreme Court for an extraordinary writ of mandamus.
- In Trump v. Raffensperger, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge issued an order that the case proceed in the normal course and not on an emergency basis. The Trump campaign subsequently filed an emergency petition in the Georgia Supreme Court asking the court to hear the case. The court denied the campaign’s petition.
- In Wood v. Raffensperger, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge dismissed a petition for election contest alleging that Georgia officials violated state and federal law in how they administered the November election. The petition asserted wrongdoing in the state’s use of funds from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life, as well as in the state’s negotiation of a settlement agreement with voting rights groups regarding absentee ballots.
- In another case titled Wood v. Raffensperger, the plaintiff filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court for expedited review of an 11th Circuit decision that affirmed a district judge’s dismissal of the case. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that Georgia’s Secretary of State altered the process established by the Georgia legislature for handling absentee ballots and unlawfully entered into a March 2020 settlement agreement to resolve a court case brought by the Democratic Party of Georgia and others.
- In Costantino v. City of Detroit, a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion for an audit by the county clerk of the election results in Wayne County. The judge determined that under Michigan law the plaintiffs should direct their request to the Michigan Secretary of State rather than the court, noting that the Secretary has already made a public commitment to such an audit.
- In Donald J. Trump for President v. Benson, the Michigan Supreme Court denied the Trump campaign’s application for leave to appeal from an adverse ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The campaign originally filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims, asserting that Michigan’s Secretary of State unlawfully failed to provide an opportunity for an election inspector of each political party to be present at each absent voter counting board. A Court of Claims Judge denied relief to the campaign and the Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal.
- In Johnson v. Benson, the Michigan Supreme Court denied a petition for extraordinary writs of mandamus filed by attorneys of the Thomas More Society that sought to prevent Michigan officials from certifying the results of the November election. The petition had alleged various violations of the Michigan and U.S. Constitution, particularly in officials’ treatment of absentee ballots, which the petitioners asserted was inconsistent with the scheme enacted by the Michigan legislature.
- In King v. Whitmer, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a complaint brought by attorney Sidney Powell that alleged a variety of state and federal law violations by defendants, including that the state’s use of Dominion voting machines and software permitted widespread voter fraud. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 6th Circuit, and subsequently a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- In Law v. Whitmer, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming a district judge’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ complaint contesting the November election results. The plaintiffs had alleged various irregularities, improprieties, and fraud in Nevada’s election, including those related to mail-in ballot processing machines, electronic voting machines, ballot-counting observation, the processing and counting of provisional ballots, and voting drives.
- In In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 Election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied an emergency petition filed by the Trump campaign. The campaign argued that the Bucks County Board of Elections violated Pennsylvania law by counting 2,177 absentee and mail-in ballots due to deficiencies such as the secrecy envelope being unsealed.
- In a brief, one-sentence order in Kelly v. Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency application for injunctive relief filed by Congressmen Mike Kelly and others. The applicants asked the Court to review the constitutionality of the 2019 Act of the Pennsylvania legislature establishing mail-in voting procedures.
- In Metcalfe v. Wolf, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint for a writ of mandamus that sought a court order for the governor to withdraw certification of the state’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs had asserted that state officials acted unlawfully in counting defective absentee ballots and in failing to implement recommendations from a Performance Audit Report conducted by the Department of the Auditor General.
- In Texas v. Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion by the state of Texas seeking to invoke the Court’s original jurisdiction in a case against the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Texas Attorney Ken Paxton asserted that the interests of Texas citizens were harmed when non-legislative actors in these states “amended” election laws in violation of the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution, permitting unlawful votes in the Presidential election. The complaint sought for the Court to remand the case to the states’ legislatures for the direct appointment of Presidential electors.
- In Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a complaint filed by attorney Sidney Powell alleging a variety of federal constitutional violations by the defendants. According to the plaintiffs, these violations required the decertification of Wisconsin’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 7th Circuit.
- In Trump v. Biden, a Milwaukee County Circuit Judge denied relief to the Trump campaign, which was appealing the results of the recounts it requested in Dane and Milwaukee Counties. The campaign immediately appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on Saturday. A decision is expected shortly.
- In Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a U.S. District Judge dismissed the Trump campaign’s complaint alleging that Wisconsin election officials unlawfully departed from the state legislative scheme for appointing Presidential electors. Allegations included (1) ignoring or compromising state law limits on the availability of mail-in ballots, (2) proliferating unmanned mail-in ballot drop boxes, (3) processing and counting vast numbers of mail-in ballots outside the visibility of poll watchers, (4) reducing or eliminating mandatory voter certifications for mail-in ballots, and (5) permitting “ballot tampering.” The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 7th Circuit.