US Election: Federal judges in Michigan and Georgia reject bids to overturn results

Lawyer Sidney Powell’s effort to overturn the vote in two states that Joe Biden won suffered two devastating rulings that sliced away at her self-touted ‘Kraken’ legal effort. 

Tearing down arguments put forward by Powell and her team, federal judge Timothy Batten, a George W. Bush appointee, said he was unwilling to wipe away the vote in the state, where Biden beat Trump by 12,000 votes.

‘They want this court to substitute its judgment for two and a half million voters who voted for Joe Biden. And this I am unwilling to do,’ said judge Batten. 

Earlier, a federal judge in Michigan on Monday issued yet another withering opinion dismissing an effort by legal allies of President Donald Trump to overturn millions of votes in battleground Michigan.

Just hours after that opinion was published, another federal judge in Georgia dismissed her effort to overturn the vote there, saying from the bench she lacked standing and that her proposed remedy would disenfranchise millions. 

In a 36-page ruling in Michigan, federal Judge Linda V. Parker finds the suit filed by Sidney Powell as part of her ‘Kraken’ lawsuits, lacks standing, proposes a remedy it is far too late to enforce – and critically undermines ‘faith in the democratic process.’   

‘For these reasons, the Court finds that Plaintiffs are far from likely to succeed in this matter,’ she wrote in a scathing concluding passage.

Lawyer Sidney Powell’s (r) claim of election fraud in Michigan were taken down in a devastating opinion by a federal judge in Michigan. She is pictured with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has been hospitalized with the coronavirus

‘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. 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,’ she wrote. 

Trump identified Powell as a member of his legal team last month, when she appeared at a Republican National Committee lawsuit in Washington where she spelled out a conspiracy theory involving Venezuela, China, and Cuba and voting machines she claimed ‘flipped’ votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

After her performance drew criticism, reportedly angering Trump, his lawyers announced she was not part of the team – but she has continued to travel the country and file suits in states where Trump claims the election was ‘rigged.’

Attorney Sidney Powell holds an attendee's dog as attorney L. Lin Wood speaks during a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia, U.S., December 2, 2020. She has filed suits in numerous states where Joe  Biden got more votes than Donald Trump

Attorney Sidney Powell holds an attendee’s dog as attorney L. Lin Wood speaks during a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia, U.S., December 2, 2020. She has filed suits in numerous states where Joe  Biden got more votes than Donald Trump

The judge found her suit’s claims unsupported. 

‘But, to be perfectly clear, Plaintiffs’ equal protection claim is not supported by any allegation that Defendants’ alleged schemes caused votes for President Trump to be changed to votes for Vice President Biden,’ the judge wrote. ‘For example, the closest Plaintiffs get to alleging that physical ballots were altered in such a way is the following statement in an election challenger’s sworn affidavit: ‘I believe some of these workers were changing votes that had been cast for Donald Trump and other Republican candidates.’

There are also numerous technical but critical areas where the suit fell short, according to the judge. Namely, not acting immediately despite claims of massive harm. The judge cites the ‘doctrine of laches,’ which states that a plaintiff won’t get the relief they seek if their delay harms the other party.

‘They seek 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 declines to grant Plaintiffs this relief,’ wrote Judge Parker.

Their filing came too late, and after key state deadlines spelled out in election law had passed. 

‘This case represents well the phrase: ‘this ship has sailed,’ she wrote. 

‘Before this lawsuit was filed, all 83 counties in Michigan had finished canvassing their results for all elections and reported their results for state office races to the Secretary of State and the Michigan Board of State Canvassers in accordance with Michigan law.’

‘Plaintiffs did not avail themselves of the remedies established by the Michigan legislature. The deadline for them to do so has passed. Any avenue for this Court to provide meaningful relief has been foreclosed,’ she decided.

The showed ‘no diligence’ in asserting their claims. They filed on Nov. 25 – the day before Thanksgiving – which she noted was 21 days after Election Day. They could have brought the claim before Election Day, she noted.     

‘Plaintiffs’ claims for relief are not merely last-minute—they are after the fact. While Plaintiffs delayed, the ballots were cast; the votes were counted; and the results were certified,’ according to the opinion. 

 She returned to the claim, also put forward by Trump, that voting machines changed ballots, as well as claims about the counting at a large center in Detroit. 

‘The closest Plaintiffs get to alleging that election machines and software changed votes for President Trump to Vice President Biden in Wayne County is an amalgamation of theories, conjecture, and speculation that such alterations were possible,’ wrote Judge Parker, a Barack Obama appointee.  

‘With nothing but speculation and conjecture that votes for President Trump were destroyed, discarded or switched to votes for Vice President Biden, Plaintiffs’ equal protection claim fails,’ she ruled. 

Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, who has been keeping track of the dozens of legal failures by Trump’s team, found the president and his allies are 1-47 in court. 

The latest bad news for Trump’s effort to overturn the results in states he lost comes hours after lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has been heading the effort, was hospitalized. Trump revealed that Giuliani tested positive for COVID-19. 

Back in Georgia, Batten called the remedy proposed by Powell ‘the most extraordinary relief every sought in a court in an election.’

‘They ask the court to order the secretary of state to decertify the election results as if such a mechanism even exists, and I find that it does not,’ he said.

His decision came after the chief investigators for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office provided a sworn affidavit directly contradicting claims by Powell and Giuliani of election fraud purportedly shown on a late night videotape of a counting center in Atlanta.

‘Our investigation and review of the entire security footage revealed that there were no mystery ballots that were brought in from an unknown location and hidden under tables as has been reported by some,” investigator Frances Watson wrote, Fox News reported.  

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