Sabtu, 21 November 2020

Trump campaign’s lawsuit over US election results dismissed by Pennsylvania district court -

The Trump campaign’s plan to challenge the outcome of the US election in the courts has faltered again after a Pennsylvania judge savaged their case before throwing it out of court.

US District Judge Matthew Brann said the campaign and two individual voters who brought the case had asked “this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters” when it asked for a delay in votes being certified.

“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens,” Judge Brann said in his 37 page opinion of the case.

“That has not happened,” he added, saying arguments in the case had been “haphazardly stitched together … like Frankenstein’s monster”.

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Judge Brann said the Trump campaign and Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani instead came armed with “speculative accusations” and “strained legal arguments without merit”.

He described their claim as “particularly nebulous”, saying “the Trump Campaign has not pleaded a cognisable theory” and ruling they never actually “clearly assert what the alleged injury is”.

The lawsuit alleged that Republicans had been put at a disadvantage because several counties in Pennsylvania notified voters of errors on mailed-in ballots and allowed them to be remedied, a process known as ballot or vote curing.

Judge Brann said nowhere in the laws that govern how Pennsylvania conducts its election does it say whether counties are required or indeed forbidden to allow vote curing to occur, and he noted that in the state, “some counties chose to implement a notice-and-cure procedure while others did not”.

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He got more scathing as the opinion went on, describing a “tortured procedural history” even though the case was less than two weeks old as lawyers dropped off the case, which was also altered to remove many of its original accusations.

When Rudy Giuliani parachuted in to replace a number of lawyers who withdrew themselves from the case he didn’t manage to impress the judge, who after hearing his argument, decided an evidentiary hearing scheduled for two days later “was no longer needed”.

Judge Brann noted the two individual voters, who had their votes invalidated because they didn’t follow voting procedure but weren’t given the chance to remedy them, “adequately pleaded that their votes were denied”.

However, they weren’t able to prove that the injury was caused by the parties in the suit.

The two counties they voted in, Lancaster and Fayette were not named as parties.

Their claim that Pennsylvania Department of State Secretary Kathy Boockvar, who is named in the suit, denied their right to vote also didn’t stack up.

Judge Brann said the only connection they “even attempt to draw” is that Ms Boockvar sent an email to some counties encouraging them to adopt a policy that would allow incorrect ballots to be cured the day before the election.

He added this actually worked against them.

“This email suggests Secretary Boockvar encouraged counties to allow exactly these types of votes to be counted.”

The plaintiffs also failed to allege which counties received the email or the specifics of what it contained.

Judge Brann ruled their requested redress of preventing election results being certified wasn’t proportionate.

“Prohibiting certification of the election results would not reinstate the Individual Plaintiffs’ right to vote. It would simply deny more than 6.8 million people their right to vote,” Judge Brann said (emphasis his).

“The answer to invalidated ballots is not to invalidate millions more,” he added.

Pennsylvania is due to certify its ballots on Monday and President-elect Joe Biden is in the lead by more than 80,000 votes.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit is one of a number that Mr Trump’s campaign have lodged across the US.

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2020-11-22 02:11:04Z

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