Graham Kilmer

Federal Judge Tears Apart Election Lawsuit

The Wisconsin Voters Alliance was attempting to overturn the 2020 election results with the lawsuit.

By - Jan 4th, 2021 07:55 pm
David Steffen and Jeffrey Mursau.

David Steffen and Jeffrey Mursau.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance against Vice President Mike Pence, among others, seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in five states.

The Wisconsin Voters Alliance was joined by Republican Assembly members David Steffen and Jeffrey Mursau in the suit. The plaintiffs included similar groups and legislators from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Arizona. The suit listed Pence as a defendant along with Governor Tony Evers and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos among several others.

Judge James E. Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ripped apart the lawsuit in his written decision, which was the latest in a parade of legal actions since the November election seeking to overturn the election.

Boasberg found that the plaintiffs had greatly misinterpreted Article II of the U.S. Constitution, had no standing to sue the defendant and failed to meet the minimum legal standards for the action they were requesting.

“It would be risible,” Boasberg said of the suit, “were its target not so grave: the undermining of a democratic election for President of the United States. “

The judge wrote that because the plaintiffs didn’t even rise to the bare minimum for launching a credible lawsuit it was “difficult to believe that the suit is meant seriously.”

“Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures,” Boasberg wrote. Because of this, the court would determine if it should issue an order requiring the plaintiffs to explain why the court should not forward the matter to a committee for the potential discipline of the attorneys that filed the suit.

Boasberg wrote how he found the suit both unserious and unprecedentedly grand in what it sought. He described the complaint as “prolix” and bold in that it asked the court to declare “several decades-old federal statutes” unconstitutional, to invalidate state election laws, to ignore Supreme Court decisions, and what Boasberg called the “coup de grace”: the plaintiffs wanted the court to prohibit the U.S. Congress from counting the electoral votes and declaring Joe Biden the president.

Despite the gravity of the suit the plaintiffs filed, they did not even bother to serve the defendants with a notice of the lawsuit, Boasberg wrote. The plaintiffs showed no standing to file the suit and — for a number of the defendants — it was the wrong court to file the suit in. “Plaintiffs cannot simply sue anyone they wish here in the District of Columbia,” he wrote.

The defendants showed no evidence of election fraud. In fact, the plaintiffs even state that the suit “is not about voter fraud.” And yet, they “spend scores of pages cataloguing every conceivable discrepancy or irregularity in the 2020 vote in the five relevant states, already debunked or not, most of which they nonetheless describe as a species of fraud.”

The defendants claim they were disenfranchised in the certification of the 2020 election. “This is plainly not true,” Boasberg wrote. “Their votes have been counted and their electors certified pursuant to state-authorized procedures; indeed, any vote nullification would obtain only were their own suit to succeed.”

And even if it were not for all the errors in the suit, Boasberg states that the court “still could not rule in Plaintiffs’ favor because their central contention is flat-out wrong.”

The plaintiffs’ premise for the entire suit rests on a misinterpretation of “straightforward passage” of Article II of the Constitution. The passage says that states can adopt election laws for the certification of votes and appointment of electors. However, the plaintiffs interpret it to mean, Boasberg writes, that state legislatures alone must certify presidential votes and presidential electors, and any actions in certifying the election by officials like the governor are unconstitutional, even though they are allowed by state election law.

“Plaintiffs’ theory that all of these laws are unconstitutional and that the Court should instead require state legislatures themselves to certify every Presidential election lies somewhere between a willful misreading of the Constitution and fantasy.”

Read the opinion here.

More about the 2020 General Election

Read more about 2020 General Election here

More about the Trump's Election Lawsuits

Read more about Trump's Election Lawsuits here

Categories: Politics, Weekly

4 thoughts on “Federal Judge Tears Apart Election Lawsuit”

  1. tornado75 says:

    i can only hope that these demented republicans come to after 45 leaves office and then,we think, they will truly be ashamed and of their infantile behavior. the people of wisconsin do not want a dictator with an inflated ego to be our president. we do not want to replace our electoral system with bullies on the streets.

  2. Bradley Bloch says:

    Foley and Lardner is taking an unjustified “hit” here since the firm has been bi-partisan, with firm members leading fund-raising for BOTH parties as well as diverse philanthropic causes, for well before my now 50 years of contact.. In my six UWM years starting in 1969-1970, I garnered increasing responsibilities hosting the infamous New Year’s Day house parties at the Mequon home of Foley partner Jere McGaffey and his wife, my prof/coach/mentor, Ruth. Republican stalwarts, like Mike Grebe, never missed the parties scheduled through 1997. Everyone knew the parties were crashed by “cannot miss this one” Democratic pols like Pat Lucey, the Doyles, Clem Zablocki, Henry Reuss and Mayor Maier. Politics were discussed and donations undoubtedly were solicited! Even Urban Milwaukee’s Bruce Murphy was in the jam-packed house every New Year’s Day! So what if a Foley partner has been active in the frivolous, sour-grapes Trump litgation in 2020? The Foley firm is large and diverse enough so that other Foley partners undoubtedly volunteer their time to competently oppose those very same lawsuits. Get off the back of Foley & Lardner, a crown jewel of the Wisconsin Bar for a century-plus!

  3. Mingus says:

    I think any firm who lets their partners engage in activities attempting to undermine democracy needs to be exposed. In the last decade, WILL and other right wing law firms are continually suing government agencies and bringing them to court on cases with little merit as a way to intimidate, a tactic that Donald Trump has used for decades.

  4. tornado75 says:

    what we are seeing is a consequence for hateful, stupid behavior not cancel culture. the firm, is wealthy and represents the most wealthy of us, but even their leadership knows when to draw the line. on the phone with this president who acts like a thug, she needed to hear loudly and clearly, no way.

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