Trump campaign litigation appears to end in Pennsylvania as it unfolds in Georgia
“You haven’t shown a single problem with the way the game was scored.” “Yes, but the game was played at night, and the regulations only allow daytime games.” If you can follow that argument, then you can take the Republican Challenge of the 2020 Pennsylvania Election which was rejected by the Commonwealth Supreme Court on Saturday night. The move, which is factually linked to but distinct from President Trump’s federal lawsuit that the Third Circuit rejected last Friday, has the potential to put an end to campaign litigation efforts in Pennsylvania, although it is still possible the cases could do. the subject of an appeal to the United States. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Georgia attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are pursuing a lawsuit, not directly on behalf of the president, but on behalf of Trump supporters, including members of the Electoral College slate. nominated by Republicans who would have picked the state’s votes if Trump had won. On Sunday, they scored a small victory – for procedural reasons, not substance – in their attempt to convince a Georgian federal judge to decertify the GOP-controlled state government finding that President-elect Biden y won a slim victory. The state’s lawsuit in Pittsburgh was brought by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly of Northwestern Pennsylvania and other Republicans. They argued that the Commonwealth’s constitution did not allow mass postal voting – unlike individualized postal voting. They therefore challenged Law 77 of 2019 of the state legislature, which allowed postal voting “without excuse”. Bill 77 marked a departure from earlier Pennsylvania law, under which voters could only request mail-in ballots for legally approved reasons for not being able to vote in person. In 2020, lawmakers further liberalized this accommodation due to concerns about COVID-19. The Republican plaintiffs had a legitimate point. Prior to Bill 77, state law simply codified the Pennsylvania constitution, which allows postal voting based on a generous list of excuses, but does not expressly allow postal voting without an excuse. The plaintiffs thus found a sympathetic ear with Commonwealth Judge Patricia McCullough of Pittsburgh. Last week, she ordered a temporary stay on the certification process – although the effectiveness of the suspension is questionable, since her order came after the state certified the results (although before certain ministerial tasks, such as issuing certificates to the Biden list of voters, who will cast Commonwealth electoral votes). State election officials, who are Democrats, immediately appealed to the state Supreme Court, where their final victory was certain. This tribunal is an elected body dominated by Democrats and, as we have said before, it has both flouted the clear terms of state law and extended postal voting beyond even authorization. constitutionally questionable state. There was no way he would side with the Republicans, but here the court was on solid ground as plaintiffs had not sued the new postal vote when it was passed. They waited more than a year, until 2.6 million Pennsylvanians took advantage of the opportunity to vote by mail during a pandemic. The Republicans were suddenly opposing now, not because the election was unfair, but because their presidential candidate lost. Indeed, some of the complainants had stood for election under the postal procedures of Bill 77 without opposing them. Therefore, the court ruled that the cowardice doctrine applied – that is, claims must be filed in a timely manner or they are overturned. In addition, to repeat a refrain that we have been insisting for some time, there was a glaring disconnect between the alleged harm and the remedy sought: Republicans demanded that the postal ballots be rejected or, failing that, that the l The election is called off and the state legislature (majority Republican) is charged with choosing state voters (i.e. Trump slate). This would disenfranchise either the 2.6 million Pennsylvanians who mailed ballots or the entire 6.8 million Commonwealth voters. In a concurring opinion, Judge David Wecht further argued that the court could not allow the state legislature to choose voters. Although the Constitution empowers the State Legislature to choose how voters are selected, Justice Wecht observed (as I have also pointed out) that the Commonwealth Legislature did so long ago by passing provisions that allocate votes in the Pennsylvania Electoral College to the winner of the popular election. The court’s decision on the cowardly issue was unanimous. Two judges were partly dissenting, arguing that Republican plaintiffs’ interpretation of the state’s constitution seems sound and that Bill 77’s attempt to set a 180-day deadline to challenge its legality should be inapplicable against challenges based on the constitution of the state (a problem that the majority have avoided). Dissenters argued that plaintiffs should be allowed to pursue their objections to the mass mail ballot for the purposes of future elections, but not the 2020 election.Georgia In Georgia, lawyers Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are continuing their case theory that the election was stolen from President Trump by cyber fraud – in particular, the manipulation of the tabulation program, to which they claim the Dominion voting machines are vulnerable, in order to pass Trump’s votes to the Biden’s votes. Sunday turned out to be a hectic day because Wood learned, apparently from state election officials, that the memories on the voting machines were about to be reset (or “erased” , as Wood said). That was supposed to happen on Monday (today) – remember Georgia will host a run-off for both seats in the US Senate in just five weeks (i.e. January 5). Wood objected because the reset would make it virtually impossible for him and Powell to conduct a forensic examination of how the Dominion software works in the November election, which they believe is necessary for their cause. state election officials to preserve the machines in their current state while it deliberated on whether to authorize a forensic examination. Judge Batten withdrew the injunction hours later when state officials named in the Wood / Powell lawsuits explained that the counties, not the state, controlled the machines. Finally, Sunday night at 7:45 p.m. Batten has called an emergency. conference, via Zoom, in which attorneys countered that they were prepared to modify their complaints to add Cobb County officials, Gwinnett and Cherokee as defendants. The state also argued that the forensic examination envisaged by the plaintiffs threatened the state’s electoral security and could compromise the property and trade secrets of its contractor, and therefore should not be allowed in the absence of ‘more convincing evidence of wrongdoing than what has been done so far. Wood and Powell responded that these concerns could be allayed by allowing the state’s own experts to participate in the review, videotaping it and ordering that the results be provided only to the court, for review of any order. appropriate protection against disclosure. At the end of the hearing, Judge Batten issued a temporary restraining order: For the next ten days, unless the court decides otherwise, Georgia does not have the right to allow the erasing or modifying data from Dominion machines. In the meantime, the state must provide applicants with a copy of its contract with the Dominion and must file by close of business Wednesday (December 2) a brief and all supporting affidavits in opposition to the forensic examinations. is set for Friday (December 4). To be clear, Justice Batten did not rule on the merits of the case or even indicate that he would authorize the forensic examination of the Dominion’s data. The injunction freezes the cases for a few days so that the court can consider the positions of the parties and make a more informed decision.