Advance Notice: Briefs

Courts deny 2 more pro-Trump attempts to overturn state election

By: - December 7, 2020 12:44 pm

Trump Rally outside the Michigan State Capitol Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 | Anna Liz Nichols

Two more attempts by President Trump and his allies to overturn Michigan’s Nov. 3  election through the court system have been shot down. 

On Friday, The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected the Trump campaign’s appeal challenging Michigan’s election results, noting that the lawsuit is now moot after the Board of State Canvassers certified the election results. 

The board certified the state’s election on Nov. 23 and Democrat Joe Biden won by more than 154,000 votes. 

In a 2-1 decision, the court said the Trump campaign “failed to follow clear law in Michigan relative to such matters” and if they wanted to challenge the results, the means to do so would be through a request for a recount.

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The lone judge to dissent, Judge Patrick Meter, said the case isn’t moot because “state electors have not yet been seated, the Electoral College has not yet been assembled, and Congress has not yet convened.”

The Electoral College is set to vote Dec. 14.

The other two judges, Stephen Borrello and Amy Ronayne Krause, said that without a request for recount, the case is baseless. 

In another case filed by Sidney Powell, previously a lawyer for the President Donald Trump campaign and a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan judge denied the motion for a temporary injunction Monday. 

Powell filed the lawsuit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Board of State Canvassers, claiming baseless allegations of widespread voter irregularities and fraud in the processing and tabulation of votes and absentee ballots.

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Judge Linda Parker wrote that Powell is seeking “relief that is stunning in its scope and breathtaking in its reach.”

“If granted, the relief would disenfranchise the votes of the more than 5.5 million Michigan citizens who, with dignity, hope, and a promise of a voice, participated in the 2020 General Election,” the court wrote. 

On Tuesday, The City of Detroit, the Democratic National Committee and the Michigan Democratic Party filed motions to intervene, stating that the case is an attempt to “de-certify” Michigan’s election results without merit.

The Court finds that Plaintiffs are far from likely to succeed in this matter. In fact, this lawsuit seems to be less about achieving the relief Plaintiffs seek — as much of that relief is beyond the power of this Court — and more about the impact of their allegations on People’s faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government,” the judge wrote Monday. “Plaintiffs ask this Court to ignore the orderly statutory scheme established to challenge elections and to ignore the will of millions of voters. This, the Court cannot, and will not, do. The People have spoken.”

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.

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