06 Dec Case Updates: Week of Nov. 30-Dec. 4
on 12/06/2020 in Case News & Commentary
- In Ward v. Jackson, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge denied relief requested in a petition filed by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party. The petition asked the court to annul the state’s election and void the certification of Biden electors, alleging illegal conduct with respect to signature verification. The plaintiff has appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.
- In Bowyer v. Ducey, a legal team led by Sidney Powell filed a federal lawsuit requesting decertification of Arizona’s Presidential election results, asserting various constitutional violations. The complaint alleges fraud in the “counting and fabrication” of hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots, including fraud related to the use of Dominion Election Systems’ hardware and software in Maricopa County. The court has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday, December 8 for oral argument on pending motions to dismiss.
- In Stevenson v. Ducey, four members of the Arizona Election Integrity Association filed a petition of election contest in Maricopa County Superior Court, asking the court for an injunction preventing the certification of Arizona’s Presidential election results and requiring the governor to certify Presidential electors selected by the legislature. Among the petition’s allegations are that officials did not enforce state law residency requirements, permitted “double voting,” and created illegal disparities in ballot and drop box voting by their use of funds from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life.
- In Wood v. Raffensperger, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal, agreeing with a district court judge that the plaintiff did not have standing to sue, and that his claims were moot because Georgia already certified its Presidential election results.
- In Pearson v. Kemp, a federal case filed by a legal team led by Sidney Powell, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed the plaintiffs’ interlocutory appeal, finding that it did not have jurisdiction to review a district judge’s non-final order. The district judge issued an order preventing the defendants from altering software or data on voting machines in three counties rather than all ten requested by the plaintiffs. The case is back in district court with a hearing on the complaint on Monday at 10am.
- In Boland v. Raffensperger, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in Fulton County Superior Court seeking an audit of the voter rolls to compare to ballots cast, as well as a decertification of Georgia’s election results and a new election. The complaint includes allegations that the defendants allowed non-residents to vote and failed to verify voter signatures as required by state law.
- In Trump v. Raffensperger, the Trump campaign filed a petition in Fulton County Superior Court to contest the results of the Presidential election. The petition alleges a wide variety of unlawful conduct by defendants in violation of the Georgia Constitution and election code, including violations concerning signature matching to confirm the identity of absentee voters and the denial of the petitioners’ fundamental right to a transparent and open election.
- In Donald Trump for President v. Benson, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied the campaign’s application for leave to appeal a Court of Claims judge’s decision. The Court of Appeals found the matter moot, given that the state board of canvassers had already certified the election results.
- In Costantino v. City of Detroit, the defendants filed responses in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion in Wayne County Circuit Court for an audit of the vote in Wayne County. At a hearing on the motion late in the week, media reports indicated that the circuit court judge promised a decision by Tuesday, December 8.
- In King v. Whitmer, a federal case filed by a legal team led by Sidney Powell, the defendants filed responses in opposition to plaintiffs’ emergency motion for a temporary restraining order decertifying Michigan’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs requested that the court rule on the motion prior to December 8, the “safe harbor” date for states to submit their slates of Presidential electors under federal law.
- In Kistner v. Simon, the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking to prevent the state from certifying election results and asking for a statewide, bipartisan election audit. The petitioners based their argument on allegations that actions taken by Minnesota’s Secretary of State, such as entering into a consent agreement suspending the witness requirement for absentee ballots, violated various provisions of the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions. The court found the petition barred by the doctrine of laches, in that the petitioners could have raised their claims with the court earlier in the election process, and cannot raise them now so close to election certification deadlines.
- In Law v. Whitmer, a Carson City District Court judge dismissed a complaint alleging irregularities, improprieties, and fraud in the running of 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. The plaintiffs had sought an order that the Republican electors be certified as the duly elected Presidential electors from the state or that no Presidential electors be certified. The plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal.
- In Kelly v. Pennsylvania, the plaintiffs filed an emergency application in the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to rule that 2019 Pennsylvania legislation allowing no-excuse mail-in voting is unconstitutional. Justice Alito requested responses to the application by Tuesday, December 8 at 9am. Earlier in the week, the plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought a similar order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
- In In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 Election, the Trump campaign filed an emergency petition in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court asking the court to find that the Bucks County Board of Elections violated Pennsylvania law by counting 2,177 absentee and mail-in ballots whose secrecy envelopes were not sealed.
- In Republican Party of Pennsylvania v Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State and others filed their responses to the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition asks the Court to rule on the merits of the case, which involves whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated the U.S. Constitution by extending the deadline for the receipt of mail-in ballots three days beyond what the state legislature set by statute.
- In a 4-3 ruling in Trump v. Evers, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied a petition filed by the Trump campaign alleging various errors by defendants with respect to absentee ballots that affected the outcome of the Presidential election. The majority of the court determined that it did not have authority to hear the case, and that petitions contesting elections must be filed at the circuit court level.
- In another 4-3 ruling in Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the petitioners’ request to void the state’s election of Presidential electors and order that the choice of electors revert back to the legislature. The court determined that issues of material fact made the case inappropriate to consider as an original action, given that the court is set up to rule on issues of law once lower courts have made factual findings.
- In still another 4-3 ruling in Mueller v. Wisconsin Election Commissioners, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the petitioners’ request for a declaration that the Wisconsin Elections Commission communicated illegal advice to county clerks regarding absentee ballot drop boxes, and that the court should prevent the certification of Wisconsin’s Presidential election results.
- In Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a legal team led by Sidney Powell filed a complaint in federal district court alleging various violations of state and federal law including claims that the defendants counted fraudulent and illegal ballots, the extent of which requires the decertification of Wisconsin’s Presidential election results. Briefs on the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order are due by Tuesday, December 8.
- In Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Trump campaign filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that Wisconsin election officials unlawfully departed from the state’s legislative scheme for appointing Presidential electors. The campaign asks the court to remand the case to the Wisconsin legislature for the purpose of determining a remedy according to its authority under the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court scheduled a conference with the parties on Wednesday, December 9 and a hearing on Thursday, December 10.
- In Trump v. Biden, the Trump campaign filed notices of appeal of the recounts it requested in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.