- Federal judges in Georgia and Michigan rebuked two sweeping legal challenges brought by conservative attorney Sidney Powell seeking to overturn both states’ presidential election results.
- In Michigan, US District Court Judge Linda Parker denied Powell’s request for a motion to throw out the election results, finding that the plaintiffs’ case was moot and they were unlikely to succeed on the merits.
- Shortly after, Georgia federal judge Timothy Bratten granted a motion straight from the bench to dismiss Powell’s lawsuit similarly seeking to overturn and “decertify” Georgia’s election results.
- In both cases, the judges ruled that the federal courts were not the proper venue to bring their suits, the plaintiffs’ lacked proper standing, and that they waited too long to bring the lawsuits, a concept known as “laches.”
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In the course of one morning on December 7, two federal judges in Georgia and Michigan eviscerated lawsuits brought by conservative attorney Sidney Powell seeking to overturn the state’s presidential election results.
Powell, who previously represented retired Gen. Michael Flynn and was, until recently, affiliated with President Donald Trump’s campaign, pledged to “release the Kraken” on a massive but ultimately unfounded election fraud conspiracy involving rigged voting machines and communist dictators like the late Hugo Chavez.
But over a month after Election Day, Powell is so far only racking up the tentacle-like strands of numerous court losses.
In both cases, the judges ruled that state, not federal court, is the proper venue for such election challenges, that the plaintiffs lacked standing, and they first brought the lawsuits challenging the electoral system far too late in the process,a concept in election law known as “laches.”
In the Michigan case, Powell’s suit sought an emergency motion for relief that would have overturned the election and thus disenfranchised 5.5 million voters based on baseless claims of widespread fraud and irregularities. Biden won Michigan by over 146,000 votes, and the state formally certified those results on November 23.
US District Court Judge Linda Parker dismantled the plaintiffs’ argument one-by-one in a scathing opinion, finding that the case significantly overlapped with other cases filed in the state court, the plaintiffs lacked the standing to bring the suit and waited too long to do so, that the plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on the merits, and that the suit is now moot.
“This lawsuit seems to be less about achieving the relief Plaintiffs seek â€” as much of that relief is beyond the power of this Court â€” and more about the impact of their allegations on People’s faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government,” Parker wrote. “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.”
Also on Monday, US District Court Judge Timothy Batten held a hearing over a similar lawsuit Powell filed seeking for Georgia’s election results to be overturned and “decertified.”
A post-election risk-limiting audit that involved a hand recount of the nearly 5 million ballots cast in the presidential race and a subsequent machine recount requested by the Trump campaign have both affirmed Biden as the narrow winner of Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes.
In the hearing, Powell repeated conspiracies about voting irregularities and machines being rigged while dodging the judge’s questions about procedural matters like the plaintiffs’ standing, and whether or not her case was moot given that Biden would still win the Electoral College even if Georgia’s election results were overturned.
After the arguments, Batten then immediately issued his ruling from the bench to grant the state of Georgia’s motion to dismiss the suit altogether, calling it “the most extraordinary relief ever sought in any federal court in connection with an election” according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.
“Federal courts are of limited jurisdiction; they are not the legal equivalent to medical hospitals which have emergency rooms that are open 24/7 to all comers,” Bratten, a George W. Bush appointee, said.
Powell has also filed lawsuits seeking to overturn election results in Wisconsin and Arizona, two other swing states that have certified their election results for Biden.