• The Star Staff

Over 30 Trump campaign lawsuits have failed. Some rulings are scathing.


By Alan Feuer and Zach Montague


Judges, a generally sober lot, are not as a rule given to snark, sarcasm or outbursts of emotion in their orders.


But in the nearly three dozen lawsuits challenging the 2020 election that the Trump campaign and its proxies have either lost or withdrawn in recent weeks, a number of judges have lost patience.


Here are some scathing excerpts from their rulings:


Pennsylvania


Oct. 10


“Perhaps Plaintiffs are right that guards should be placed near drop boxes, signature-analysis experts should examine every mail-in ballot, poll watchers should be able to man any poll regardless of location, and other security improvements should be made. But the job of an unelected federal judge isn’t to suggest election improvements, especially when those improvements contradict the reasoned judgment of democratically elected officials.”


“Put differently, federal judges can have a lot of power — especially when issuing injunctions. And sometimes we may even have a good idea or two. But the Constitution sets out our sphere of decision-making, and that sphere does not extend to second-guessing and interfering with a state’s reasonable, nondiscriminatory election rules.” — Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, dismissing the Trump campaign’s attempt to stop Pennsylvania counties from using ballot drop boxes and from tallying absentee ballots that were not in a “secrecy” envelope.


Nov. 21


“This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together… This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.” — Judge Matthew W. Brann of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, dismissing the Trump campaign’s attempt to block certification of Pennsylvania’s election result. (The state certified its results Tuesday.)


Texas


Nov. 2


“Here, the court finds the plaintiffs did not act with alacrity. There has been an increasing amount of conversation and action around the subject of implementing drive-through voting since earlier this summer…”


“At virtually any point, but certainly by October 12, 2020, plaintiffs could have filed this action. Instead, they waited until October 28, 2020 at 9:08 p.m. to file their complaint and did not file their actual motion for temporary relief until midday on October 30, 2020 — the last day of early voting.” — Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, dismissing a Republican-led lawsuit seeking to end drive-through voting in heavily Democratic Harris County, Texas.


Michigan


Nov. 6


“This ‘supplemental evidence’ is inadmissible as hearsay. The assertion that Connarn was informed by an unknown individual what ‘other hired poll workers at her table’ had been told is inadmissible hearsay within hearsay, and plaintiffs have provided no hearsay exception for either level of hearsay that would warrant consideration of the evidence.” — Judge Cynthia Stephens of the Michigan Court of Claims, dismissing a Republican-led lawsuit attempting to stop the count of absentee ballots in the state.


Nov. 13


“Perhaps if plaintiffs’ election challenger affiants had attended the Oct. 29, 2020, walk-through of the TCF Center ballot-counting location, questions and concerns could have been answered in advance of Election Day. Regrettably, they did not and, therefore, plaintiffs’ affiants did not have a full understanding” of the absentee ballot tabulation process.” — Judge Timothy M. Kenny of the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan, dismissing a Republican-led suit seeking to stop the certification of the vote in Wayne County. (Michigan certified its results Monday.)


Georgia


Nov. 19


“To halt the certification at literally the 11th hour would breed confusion and disenfranchisement that I find have no basis in fact and law.” — Judge Steven D. Grimberg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in a ruling from the bench, turning down an emergency request from a Trump supporter, L. Lin Wood, to halt certification of the vote in Georgia. (Georgia certified its results Friday.)


Nov. 20


“Although Wood generally claims fundamental unfairness, and the declarations and testimony submitted in support of his motion speculate as to widespread impropriety, the actual harm alleged by Wood concerns merely a “garden variety” election dispute. Wood does not allege unfairness in counting the ballots; instead, he alleges that select non-party, partisan monitors were not permitted to observe the Audit in an ideal manner. Wood presents no authority, and the Court finds none, providing for a right to unrestrained observation or monitoring of vote counting, recounting, or auditing. — Grimberg, once again turning down Wood’s emergency request to halt certification of the vote in Georgia.

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