Case Updates Dec 28 – Jan 1

By Matt Cooper

Arizona:

  • Bowyer v. Ducey remains at the U.S. Supreme Court on an emergency petition filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team. There is no indication that the court intends to rule on the petition prior to the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.
  • In Ward v. Jackson, a case filed by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending in the U.S. Supreme Court after rulings in favor of the defendants at the courts below. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.

District of Columbia:

  • The case of Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Pence remains pending in D.C. federal district court. The plaintiffs assert that portions of the Electoral Count Act violate Article II of the U.S. Constitution by restricting state legislatures’ prerogative to post-election certification of Presidential electors. The plaintiffs also allege that laws in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are unconstitutional delegations of post-election Presidential elector certification duties to executive branch officials. The lawsuit seeks a court order enjoining Vice President Pence from counting Presidential elector votes unless state legislatures affirmatively vote to certify their states’ Presidential electors.

Georgia:

  • In Pearson v. Kemp, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.
  • The case of Still v. Raffensperger remains pending in Fulton County Superior Court, the complaint having been filed on Dec. 17. The plaintiffs allege various violation of Georgia constitutional and statutory law in the running of the November election. The plaintiffs seek a court order decertifying the state’s Presidential election results.
  • In Wood v. Raffensperger, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 11.

Michigan:

  • In King v. Whitmer, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.
  • The case of Michigan Welfare Rights Organization v. Trump remains pending in federal district court. The plaintiffs’ amended complaint alleges that President Trump violated the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act by pressuring state legislatures to override the popular vote and appoint Presidential electors.

New Mexico:

Pennsylvania:

  • The Trump campaign’s petition for writ of certiorari and a motion for expedited consideration remain pending in the U.S. Supreme Court in four Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases decided in October and November. For updated U.S. Supreme Court documents, see the case page for In re Canvassing Observation.
  • In Pennsylvania Republican Party v. Boockvar, a motion for writ of certiorari remains pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. The parties have submitted their briefs and the case has been distributed for conference on Jan. 8.

Texas:

  • In Gohmert v. Pence, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a case brought by Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert and others due to lack of standing. The plaintiffs asserted that the elector dispute resolution provisions of the Electoral Count Act, 3 U.S.C. 5 and 3 U.S.C. 15, violate the Electors Clause and the Twelfth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They asked the court for a declaratory judgment finding that under the Twelfth Amendment Vice President Pence has exclusive authority and sole discretion to determine which electoral votes to count for a given state. The plaintiffs appealed to the Fifth Circuit for an expedited ruling. A Fifth Circuit panel subsequently issued a brief opinion affirming the district court.

Wisconsin

  • Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission remains at the U.S. Supreme Court on an emergency petition filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team. There is no indication that the court intends to rule on the petition prior to the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.
  • In Trump v. Biden, the Trump campaign filed a petition for writ of certiorari and a motion for expedited consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court after an adverse ruling in the Wisconsin Supreme Court regarding the campaign’s requested recount.
  • In Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Trump campaign filed a petition for writ of certiorari and a motion for expedited consideration in the U.S. Supreme Court after adverse rulings in the federal courts below.

Case Updates Dec 21-25

By Matt Cooper

Arizona:

  • Bowyer v. Ducey, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, remains on appeal at the Ninth Circuit after a district judge’s ruling in favor of the defendants. As of now, party briefs are not due until well after the Presidential inauguration.
  • In Ward v. Jackson, a case filed by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending at the U.S. Supreme Court after rulings in favor of the defendants at the courts below. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.

District of Columbia:

  • In Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Pence, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in D.C. federal district court asserting that portions of the Electoral Count Act violate Article II of the U.S. Constitution by restricting state legislatures’ prerogative to post-election certification of Presidential electors. The plaintiffs also allege that laws in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are unconstitutional delegations of post-election Presidential elector certification duties to executive branch officials. The lawsuit seeks a court order enjoining Vice President Pence from counting Presidential elector votes unless state legislatures affirmatively vote to certify their states’ Presidential electors.

Georgia:

  • In Pearson v. Kemp, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.
  • The case of Still v. Raffensperger remains pending in Fulton County Superior Court, the complaint having been filed on Dec. 17. The plaintiffs allege various violation of Georgia constitutional and statutory law in the running of the November election. The plaintiffs seek a court order decertifying the state’s Presidential election results.
  • In Wood v. Raffensperger, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion to expedite consideration remain pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 11.

Michigan:

  • In King v. Whitmer, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.
  • In Michigan Welfare Rights Organization v. Trump, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to add a claim that the President violated the Ku Klux Klan Act in allegedly pressuring state legislatures to override the popular vote and appoint Presidential electors. This new claim adds to the original allegation of a Voting Rights Act violation.

New Mexico:

  • The case of Donald Trump for President v. Toulouse Oliver remains pending in federal district court in New Mexico. The campaign seeks a court order vacating certification of the state’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on Dec. 22.

Pennsylvania:

Texas:

  • In Gohmert v. Pence, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert and other plaintiffs filed a complaint in federal district court asserting that the elector dispute resolution provisions of the Electoral Count Act, 3 U.S.C. 5 and 3 U.S.C. 15, violate the Electors Clause and the Twelfth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; The plaintiffs ask for a declaratory judgment finding that under the Twelfth Amendment Vice President Pence has exclusive authority and sole discretion to determine which electoral votes to count for a given state.

Wisconsin:

  • Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal, remains pending on appeal at the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after a district judge’s ruling in favor of the defendants. As of now, appellant’s brief is due by Jan. 19.
  • In Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district judge’s decision denying relief to the Trump campaign.

Case Updates Dec 14-18

By Matt Cooper

Arizona:

  • Bowyer v. Ducey, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, remains on appeal at the Ninth Circuit after a district judge’s ruling in favor of the defendants. As of now, party briefs are not due until well after the Presidential inauguration.
  • In Burk v. Ducey, a Pinal County Superior Court Judge dismissed a complaint alleging violations of the U.S. Constitution and Arizona law by state executive officials in running the November election. The plaintiff sought the decertification of Arizona’s Presidential election results. The judge dismissed the case because as untimely and unauthorized under state law, given that the plaintiff was not a registered voter in the election.
  • In Ward v. Jackson, a case filed by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending at the U.S. Supreme Court after rulings in favor of the defendants at the courts below. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.

Georgia:

  • In Boland v. Raffensperger, the Georgia Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s emergency direct appeal following a ruling in favor of the defendants at the superior court level. The plaintiff sought the decertification of Georgia’s Presidential election results due to the defendants’ failure to follow Georgia law regarding the verification of voter signatures.
  • In Pearson v. Kemp, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.
  • In Wood v. Raffensperger, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion to expedite consideration remain pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 11.
  • Beyond the Presidential election, litigation over Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff election continues. Most recently, the 11th Circuit denied relief to the Georgia Republican Party, which, along with the Loeffler and Perdue campaigns, sought to alter the state’s current signature verification process.

Michigan:

  • In King v. Whitmer, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal team, a petition for writ of certiorari and motion for expedited consideration remain pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. As of now, a response brief is due by Jan. 14.

New Mexico:

  • In Donald Trump for President v. Toulouse Oliver, the Trump campaign filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that New Mexico’s Secretary of State violated the Elections and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution by failing to follow election laws enacted by the legislature. The campaign seeks a court order vacating certification of the state’s Presidential election results. The defendants’ response is due by Dec. 24.

Pennsylvania:

Wisconsin:

  • Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a case filed by Sidney Powell’s legal, remains pending on appeal at the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after a district judge’s ruling in favor of the defendants. As of now, appellant’s brief is due by Jan. 19.
  • In Trump v. Biden, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed the decision of a circuit court judge that upheld the results of recounts requested by the Trump campaign in Dane and Milwaukee Counties.
  • In Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, the parties have filed briefs in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals after a decision at the district court level in favor of the defendants. A decision is expected soon.

Case Updates Dec 7-11

By Matt Cooper

Arizona:

  • In Bowyer v. Ducey, a U.S. District Judge granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss in a case brought by attorney Sidney Powell alleging a wide variety of violations, including some related to the state’s use of Dominion Voting Systems’ hardware and software. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
  • In Ward v. Jackson, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the decision of a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge who dismissed a case filed by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party. The lawsuit sought to annul the state’s election due to alleged illegalities regarding signature verification. The plaintiff subsequently filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Georgia:

  • In Boland v. Raffensperger, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint contesting the results of the Presidential election. The plaintiffs had alleged that Georgia’s Secretary of State permitted non-residents to vote and failed to verify voter signatures as required by state law.
  • In Pearson v. Kemp, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a complaint filed by attorney Sidney Powell alleging a wide variety of state and federal law violations including some related to the state’s use of Dominion Democracy Suite software and devices that allegedly led to statewide ballot fraud. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 11th Circuit and also an emergency petition in the U.S. Supreme Court for an extraordinary writ of mandamus.
  • In Trump v. Raffensperger, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge issued an order that the case proceed in the normal course and not on an emergency basis. The Trump campaign subsequently filed an emergency petition in the Georgia Supreme Court asking the court to hear the case. The court denied the campaign’s petition.
  • In Wood v. Raffensperger, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge dismissed a petition for election contest alleging that Georgia officials violated state and federal law in how they administered the November election. The petition asserted wrongdoing in the state’s use of funds from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life, as well as in the state’s negotiation of a settlement agreement with voting rights groups regarding absentee ballots.
  • In another case titled Wood v. Raffensperger, the plaintiff filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court for expedited review of an 11th Circuit decision that affirmed a district judge’s dismissal of the case. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that Georgia’s Secretary of State altered the process established by the Georgia legislature for handling absentee ballots and unlawfully entered into a March 2020 settlement agreement to resolve a court case brought by the Democratic Party of Georgia and others.

Michigan:

  • In Costantino v. City of Detroit, a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion for an audit by the county clerk of the election results in Wayne County. The judge determined that under Michigan law the plaintiffs should direct their request to the Michigan Secretary of State rather than the court, noting that the Secretary has already made a public commitment to such an audit.
  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Benson, the Michigan Supreme Court denied the Trump campaign’s application for leave to appeal from an adverse ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The campaign originally filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims, asserting that Michigan’s Secretary of State unlawfully failed to provide an opportunity for an election inspector of each political party to be present at each absent voter counting board. A Court of Claims Judge denied relief to the campaign and the Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal.
  • In Johnson v. Benson, the Michigan Supreme Court denied a petition for extraordinary writs of mandamus filed by attorneys of the Thomas More Society that sought to prevent Michigan officials from certifying the results of the November election. The petition had alleged various violations of the Michigan and U.S. Constitution, particularly in officials’ treatment of absentee ballots, which the petitioners asserted was inconsistent with the scheme enacted by the Michigan legislature.
  • In King v. Whitmer, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a complaint brought by attorney Sidney Powell that alleged a variety of state and federal law violations by defendants, including that the state’s use of Dominion voting machines and software permitted widespread voter fraud. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 6th Circuit.

Nevada:

  • In Law v. Whitmer, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming a district judge’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ complaint contesting the November election results. The plaintiffs had alleged various irregularities, improprieties, and fraud in Nevada’s election, including those related to mail-in ballot processing machines, electronic voting machines, ballot-counting observation, the processing and counting of provisional ballots, and voting drives.

Pennsylvania:

  • In In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 Election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied an emergency petition filed by the Trump campaign. The campaign argued that the Bucks County Board of Elections violated Pennsylvania law by counting 2,177 absentee and mail-in ballots due to deficiencies such as the secrecy envelope being unsealed.
  • In a brief, one-sentence order in Kelly v. Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency application for injunctive relief filed by Congressmen Mike Kelly and others. The applicants asked the Court to review the constitutionality of the 2019 Act of the Pennsylvania legislature establishing mail-in voting procedures.
  • In Metcalfe v. Wolf, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint for a writ of mandamus that sought a court order for the governor to withdraw certification of the state’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs had asserted that state officials acted unlawfully in counting defective absentee ballots and in failing to implement recommendations from a Performance Audit Report conducted by the Department of the Auditor General.

Texas:

  • In Texas v. Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion by the state of Texas seeking to invoke the Court’s original jurisdiction in a case against the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Texas Attorney Ken Paxton asserted that the interests of Texas citizens were harmed when non-legislative actors in these states “amended” election laws in violation of the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution, permitting unlawful votes in the Presidential election. The complaint sought for the Court to remand the case to the states’ legislatures for the direct appointment of Presidential electors.

Wisconsin:

  • In Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a complaint filed by attorney Sidney Powell alleging a variety of federal constitutional violations by the defendants.  According to the plaintiffs, these violations required the decertification of Wisconsin’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 7th Circuit.
  • In Trump v. Biden, a Milwaukee County Circuit Judge denied relief to the Trump campaign, which was appealing the results of the recounts it requested in Dane and Milwaukee Counties. The campaign immediately appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on Saturday. A decision is expected shortly.
  • In Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a U.S. District Judge dismissed the Trump campaign’s complaint alleging that Wisconsin election officials unlawfully departed from the state legislative scheme for appointing Presidential electors. Allegations included (1) ignoring or compromising state law limits on the availability of mail-in ballots, (2) proliferating unmanned mail-in ballot drop boxes, (3) processing and counting vast numbers of mail-in ballots outside the visibility of poll watchers, (4) reducing or eliminating mandatory voter certifications for mail-in ballots, and (5) permitting “ballot tampering.” The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the 7th Circuit.

Case Updates Nov 30-Dec 4

By Matt Cooper

Arizona:

  • In Ward v. Jackson, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge denied relief requested in a petition filed by the chair of the Arizona Republican Party. The petition asked the court to annul the state’s election and void the certification of Biden electors, alleging illegal conduct with respect to signature verification.
  • In Bowyer v. Ducey, a legal team led by Sidney Powell filed a federal lawsuit requesting decertification of Arizona’s Presidential election results, asserting various constitutional violations. The complaint alleges fraud in the “counting and fabrication” of hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots, including fraud related to the use of Dominion Election Systems’ hardware and software in Maricopa County. The court has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday, December 8 for oral argument on pending motions to dismiss.
  • In Stevenson v. Ducey, four members of the Arizona Election Integrity Association filed a petition of election contest in Maricopa County Superior Court, asking the court for an injunction preventing the certification of Arizona’s Presidential election results and requiring the governor to certify Presidential electors selected by the legislature. Among the petition’s allegations are that officials did not enforce state law residency requirements, permitted “double voting,” and created illegal disparities in ballot and drop box voting by their use of funds from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life.

Georgia

  • In Wood v. Raffensperger, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal, agreeing with a district court judge that the plaintiff did not have standing to sue, and that his claims were moot because Georgia already certified its Presidential election results.
  • In Pearson v. Kemp, a federal case filed by a legal team led by Sidney Powell, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed the plaintiffs’ interlocutory appeal, finding that it did not have jurisdiction to review a district judge’s non-final order. The district judge issued an order preventing the defendants from altering software or data on voting machines in three counties rather than all ten requested by the plaintiffs. The case is back in district court with a hearing on the complaint on Monday at 10am.
  • In Boland v. Raffensperger, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in Fulton County Superior Court seeking an audit of the voter rolls to compare to ballots cast, as well as a decertification of Georgia’s election results and a new election. The complaint includes allegations that the defendants allowed non-residents to vote and failed to verify voter signatures as required by state law.
  • In Trump v. Raffensperger, the Trump campaign filed a petition in Fulton County Superior Court to contest the results of the Presidential election. The petition alleges a wide variety of unlawful conduct by defendants in violation of the Georgia Constitution and election code, including violations concerning signature matching to confirm the identity of absentee voters and the denial of the petitioners’ fundamental right to a transparent and open election.

Michigan

  • In Donald Trump for President v. Benson, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied the campaign’s application for leave to appeal a Court of Claims judge’s decision. The Court of Appeals found the matter moot, given that the state board of canvassers had already certified the election results.
  • In Costantino v. City of Detroit, the defendants filed responses in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion in Wayne County Circuit Court for an audit of the vote in Wayne County. At a hearing on the motion late in the week, media reports indicated that the circuit court judge promised a decision by Tuesday, December 8.
  • In King v. Whitmer, a federal case filed by a legal team led by Sidney Powell, the defendants filed responses in opposition to plaintiffs’ emergency motion for a temporary restraining order decertifying Michigan’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs requested that the court rule on the motion prior to December 8, the “safe harbor” date for states to submit their slates of Presidential electors under federal law.

Minnesota

  • In Kistner v. Simon, the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking to prevent the state from certifying election results and asking for a statewide, bipartisan election audit. The petitioners based their argument on allegations that actions taken by Minnesota’s Secretary of State, such as entering into a consent agreement suspending the witness requirement for absentee ballots, violated various provisions of the U.S. and Minnesota Constitutions. The court found the petition barred by the doctrine of laches, in that the petitioners could have raised their claims with the court earlier in the election process, and cannot raise them now so close to election certification deadlines.

Nevada

  • In Law v. Whitmer, a Carson City District Court judge dismissed a complaint alleging irregularities, improprieties, and fraud in the running of Nevada’s election, including those related to mail-in ballot processing machines, electronic voting machines, ballot-counting observation, the processing and counting of provisional ballots, and voting drives. The plaintiffs had sought an order that the Republican electors be certified as the duly elected Presidential electors from the state or that no Presidential electors be certified.

Pennsylvania

  • In Kelly v. Pennsylvania, the plaintiffs filed an emergency application in the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to rule that 2019 Pennsylvania legislation allowing no-excuse mail-in voting is unconstitutional. Justice Alito requested responses to the application by Tuesday, December 8 at 9am. Earlier in the week, the plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought a similar order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
  • In In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots of November 3, 2020 Election, the Trump campaign filed an emergency petition in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court asking the court to find that the Bucks County Board of Elections violated Pennsylvania law by counting 2,177 absentee and mail-in ballots whose secrecy envelopes were not sealed.
  • In Republican Party of Pennsylvania v Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State and others filed their responses to the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition asks the Court to rule on the merits of the case, which involves whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated the U.S. Constitution by extending the deadline for the receipt of mail-in ballots three days beyond what the state legislature set by statute.

Wisconsin

  • In a 4-3 ruling in Trump v. Evers, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied a petition filed by the Trump campaign alleging various errors by defendants with respect to absentee ballots that affected the outcome of the Presidential election. The majority of the court determined that it did not have authority to hear the case, and that petitions contesting elections must be filed at the circuit court level.
  • In another 4-3 ruling in Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the petitioners’ request to void the state’s election of Presidential electors and order that the choice of electors revert back to the legislature. The court determined that issues of material fact made the case inappropriate to consider as an original action, given that the court is set up to rule on issues of law once lower courts have made factual findings.
  • In still another 4-3 ruling in Mueller v. Wisconsin Election Commissioners, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the petitioners’ request for a declaration that the Wisconsin Elections Commission communicated illegal advice to county clerks regarding absentee ballot drop boxes, and that the court should prevent the certification of Wisconsin’s Presidential election results.
  • In Feehan v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, a legal team led by Sidney Powell filed a complaint in federal district court alleging various violations of state and federal law including claims that the defendants counted fraudulent and illegal ballots, the extent of which requires the decertification of Wisconsin’s Presidential election results. Briefs on the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order are due by Tuesday, December 8.
  • In Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Trump campaign filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that Wisconsin election officials unlawfully departed from the state’s legislative scheme for appointing Presidential electors. The campaign asks the court to remand the case to the Wisconsin legislature for the purpose of determining a remedy according to its authority under the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court scheduled a conference with the parties on Wednesday, December 9 and a hearing on Thursday, December 10.
  • In Trump v. Biden, the Trump campaign filed notices of appeal of the recounts it requested in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.

Case Updates Nov 23-27

By Matt Cooper

Arizona:

  • In Ward v. Jackson, the plaintiff, who is the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, filed a statement of election contest in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging that election officials failed to allow observation of the voter signature verification process as required by Arizona law, and that she should be entitled to a reasonable inspection of signatures. The plaintiff asks the court to annul Arizona’s election and declare the state’s certification of Biden electors to have no legal effect.

Georgia:

  • In Pearson v. Kemp, a legal team led by Sidney Powell filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that election officials violated state and federal law in the running Georgia’s election. The allegations are wide-ranging and include that officials allowed non-residents to vote in the state, failed to develop auditable procedures for processing absentee ballots, did not provide meaningful access to party observers of the electoral process, and used equipment and software of Dominion Voting Systems that resulted in statewide ballot fraud.
  • In Wood v. Raffensperger, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in Fulton County Superior Court, alleging that election officials violated state and federal law in how they administered the November election. Allegations involve how officials used funds received from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life as well as a settlement agreement entered into by the state regarding absentee ballots. The plaintiffs seek the decertification of Georgia’s Presidential election results.
  • In another case titled Wood v. Raffensperger, the plaintiffs appealed a decision of a federal district judge issued last week in which the judge denied the plaintiffs’ emergency motion to halt the certification of Georgia’s Presidential election results. The plaintiffs filed their initial brief in the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asking for a determination that the results of the Presidential election in Georgia were defective due to unlawful procedures regarding absentee ballots.

Michigan:

  • In Costantino v. City of Detroit, the Michigan Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ application for leave to appeal a court of claims judge’s decision. The judge denied plaintiffs’ motion for an order blocking the certification of election results in Wayne County. The plaintiffs had made allegations of fraud and misconduct related to the counting of ballots at the TCF Center in Detroit.
  • In King v. Whitmer, a legal team led by Sidney Powell filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that election officials violated various state and federal laws in running Michigan’s election. Allegations include denying meaningful access to observe the counting of votes and permitting widespread voter fraud due to the use of Dominion Voting Systems machines and software. The plaintiffs ask for the decertification of Michigan’s Presidential election results.
  • In Johnson v. Benson, a petition was filed in the Michigan Supreme Court alleging that the way in which election officials conducted the election violated the U.S. and Michigan Constitutions. The petitioners ask the court to enjoin the certification of Michigan Presidential election results, as well as for a statewide election audit and the appointment of a special master to investigate fraud and irregularities.

Pennsylvania:

  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of a district judge dismissing a lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign that sought to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s Presidential election results. The campaign had alleged that election officials failed to provide legally required access to the ballot-counting process and permitted residents to “cure” ballots in some counties but not in others.
  • In Kelly v. Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated a Commonwealth Court order that had preliminarily prevented further action by the state in certifying the Presidential election results. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed the petition brought by Pennsylvania Republican legislators challenging the 2019 bipartisan bill that established mail-voting for the state.
  • Ruling on the consolidated Philadelphia and Allegheny County cases of In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots and In Re: 2,349 Ballots in the 2020 General Election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that the state election code does not require counties to disqualify mail-in ballots of voters who signed the outer envelope but neglected to handwrite their name, their address, or the date.

Wisconsin:

  • In Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Wisconsin Voters Alliance filed a petition for original action in the Wisconsin Supreme Court asserting that the Wisconsin Elections Commission and other election officials illegally circumvented the state’s absentee voting laws, in part by how officials used funds received from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life. The petitioners ask the court to void Wisconsin’s election results.
  • In Mueller v. Wisconsin Election Commissioners, a petition was filed in the Wisconsin Supreme Court alleging that the Wisconsin Elections Commission communicated illegal interpretations of state law to county clerks regarding the use of absentee ballot drop boxes. The petitioners ask the court to enjoin the certification of Wisconsin’s election results.

Case Updates Nov 16-20

By Matt Cooper

Arizona:

  • In Arizona Republican Party v. Fontes, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss in a case involving the hand count sampling method Arizona law required the county recorder to use.

Georgia:

  • In Wood v. Raffensperger, a U.S. District Judge denied plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order seeking to block the certification of Georgia’s vote due to an allegedly unlawful settlement agreement earlier entered into by the Secretary of State.

Michigan:

  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, the Trump campaign voluntarily dismissed its complaint seeking to block the certification of Michigan’s vote, indicating that its goals were met when the Wayne County canvassing board refused to certify the county’s election results, though the board later did certify the results.
  • In Costantino v. City of Detroit, the plaintiffs filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, pressing forward with their assertions that due to violations of Michigan law, the court should order an independent audit of the integrity of the election in Detroit.
  • In Michigan Welfare Rights Organization v. Trump, the plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging federal Voting Rights Act violations by the President and his campaign in pressuring state and local officials not to certify election results.

Nevada:

  • In Election Integrity Project of Nevada v. Cegavske, the plaintiffs filed a motion for an emergency permanent injunction, attempting to prevent certification of the state’s election results due to alleged widespread fraud made possible by unconstitutional mail-in voting legislation. A Clark County District Court Judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion.
  • In Law v. Whitmer, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in Carson City District Court alleging that due to various alleged irregularities, improprieties, and fraud, Nevada should not certify its election results.

Pennsylvania:

  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, a U.S. District Judge granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss a complaint brought by the Trump campaign alleging violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Trump campaign filed notice of its intent to appeal to the Third Circuit.
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases involving whether certain mail-in ballot lacking some of the technical requirements set forth by Pennsylvania law should be counted. One case originated in Philadelphia County, filed by the Trump campaign: In Re: Canvass of Absentee and Mail-in Ballots. The other case originated in Allegheny County, filed by a candidate for state senate: In Re: 2,349 Ballots in the 2020 General Election. In a third case, the Allegheny County Board of Elections filed a petition for the court to hear a matter brought by the same state senate candidate involving whether certain provisional ballots should be counted, even if voters did not sign in all the required places on the outer envelope. That case is In Re: Allegheny County Provisional Ballots.
  • In Kelly v. Commonwealth, Pennsylvania Republican legislators and others filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of State and Governor, alleging that the 2019 Act of the Pennsylvania legislature establishing mail-in voting procedures is unconstitutional and therefore the state should not certify the results of the 2020 election.

Case Updates Nov 9-13

By Matt Cooper

Litigation related to the Presidential election continued this week with a number of new cases filed. Election Law at Ohio State created a subset of these cases available at go.osu.edu/pec. See below for updates by state.

Arizona:

  • In Trump v. Hobbs, the plaintiffs filed a notice indicating that due to the statewide vote tabulation, their claims related to Presidential electors are now moot.
  • In Arizona Republican Party v. Fontes, the plaintiffs challenge the Maricopa County Recorder’s process for conducting statutorily-required hand count sampling.

Georgia:

Michigan:

Pennsylvania:

  • Two federal cases were filed challenging the running of the election in Pennsylvania: Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar and Pirkle v. Wolf.
  • In Bognet v. Boockvar, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied relief to the plaintiffs-appellees, who sought a determination that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unlawfully usurped the power of the state legislature by extending the mail-in ballot receipt deadline three days.
  • In re: Canvassing Observation remains pending at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and has been briefed. The Pennsylvania Speaker of the House and Majority Leader recently filed petitions to intervene.
  • Two cases remain at the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court: Hamm v. Boockvar and another case titled Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar, in which a Commonwealth Court Judge ordered counties not to count certain segregated ballots for which voters were provided additional time to correct mistakes.
  • At the county level, challenges to the counting of certain ballots were rejected in Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties. Challenges remain pending in Allegheny and Bucks Counties.
  • In Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, Pennsylvania Republicans’ petition for writ of certiorari remains pending at the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision mentioned above.

Wisconsin:

  • A new federal case was filed challenging the running of the election in Wisconsin: Langenhorst v. Pecore.

Case Updates Nov 2-6

(re-posted with updates on Nov 11)

By Matt Cooper

On Saturday, numerous news organizations including the Associated Press “called” the Presidential race, declaring that former Vice President Joe Biden had won. Nevertheless, election cases remain pending around the country, including cases filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign. President Trump has not conceded and has expressed an intention to proceed with litigation. Many lawsuits were filed in the days around Election Day, including in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Courts rather quickly dismissed a fair number of these lawsuits, though some cases remain active including the cases below, many of which were filed in Pennsylvania:

Arizona:

  • In Trump v. Hobbs, the Trump campaign filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court, alleging that Maricopa County elections officials violated state and federal law in dealing with ballots rejected by an electronic tabulation device.

Michigan

  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Benson, the Trump campaign alleged that Michigan’s Secretary of State unlawfully failed to provide an opportunity for an election inspector of each political party to be present at each absent voter counting board.

Pennsylvania:

  • In Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, the Trump campaign filed a motion to intervene in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case in which the Pennsylvania Republican Party filed a petition for writ of certiorari. The case involves whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could lawfully extend the mail-in ballot receipt deadline past the Election Day deadline established by the state legislature. The Trump campaign subsequently filed an emergency application for an injunction, asking the court to ensure that Pennsylvania ballots arriving after Election Day are segregated in case later relevant to resolve the legal dispute. Justice Alito subsequently issued an order requiring county boards of elections to segregate the ballots.
  • In the related case of Bognet v. Boockvar, the parties are filing briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the issue of whether a district judge erred in not issuing a preliminary injunction preventing Pennsylvania from counting mail-in ballots arriving after Election Day as allowed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision.
  • In In re: Canvassing Observation, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hearing an appeal on whether the Philadelphia County Board of Elections provided meaningful access to the ballot canvassing process to political party observers.
  • In Barnette v. Lawrence, two Republican electors filed a lawsuit alleging that Montgomery County, a populous county near Philadelphia, violated Pennsylvania law by pre-canvassing mail-in ballots.
  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar (Commonwealth Court), the Trump campaign alleges that Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State unlawfully extended the time period during which mail-in voters can provide missing proof of identification.
  • In Donald J. Trump for President v. Montgomery County Board of Elections, the Trump campaign asserts that the Montgomery County Board of Elections acted in violation of Pennsylvania law when it allegedly canvassed and counted absentee and mail-in ballots for which the outer declaration envelope was not completely filled in with voters’ signature, address, and date.
  • In Hamm v. Boockvar, the plaintiffs alleges that instructions sent by Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State to county election officials about providing information to party and candidate representatives during the pre-canvass on voters whose ballots were rejected violates Pennsylvania law. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ordered the segregation of certain provisional ballots cast on Election Day.

Case Updates Oct 25-30

By Matt Cooper

Minnesota:

  • In Carson v. Simon, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the decision of a district judge who had ruled that Republican electors did not have standing to challenge the extension by the Minnesota Secretary of State of the mail-in ballot receipt deadline. The Eighth Circuit panel concluded that the electors did have standing and that preliminary relief on their constitutional challenge to the deadline extension was warranted. The Eighth Circuit blocked the extension of the deadline and ordered that mail-in ballots arriving after Election Day be segregated from other mail-in ballots, in case their validity becomes an issue at a later stage of the litigation. The Trump campaign and others also filed a petition in the Minnesota Supreme Court to ensure that late-arriving mail-in ballots are segregated by election officials. See Trump v. Simon. News reports have indicated that the Minnesota Secretary of State will not seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court of the Eighth Circuit decision.

North Carolina:

  • In Moore v. Circosta, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an application by North Carolina Republican legislators to stay a federal district judge’s decision that permitted the state election board’s extension of the mail-in ballot receipt deadline. The court did not provide reasons for denying the application. Justice Thomas would have granted the application. Justice Gorsuch wrote a dissenting opinion, which Justice Alito joined. The next day, the Supreme Court denied a similar application stemming from North Carolina state courts’ refusal to block a trial court consent judgment ordering the board to extend the deadline.

Pennsylvania:

  • Last week, in Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion by the Pennsylvania Republican Party and others to block a decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline. Pennsylvania Republicans subsequently filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court to rule on the merits of the case. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Republicans’ motion to expedite its consideration of the case, ensuring that the court would not rule prior to Election Day. Luzerne County, Pennsylvania filed a motion for new Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from the case, but the motion was subsequently withdrawn after the Luzerne County Council voted against proceeding with the motion.
  • In Bognet v. Boockvar, U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson determined that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s September decision creating a presumption of timeliness for absentee ballots arriving within the three-day period after Election Day, but without a postmark or with an illegible postmark, likely violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, Judge Gibson denied relief to the plaintiffs due to the close proximity of the election and the confusion a change in rules would cause. The plaintiffs appealed to the Third Circuit, which denied their motion for an expedited briefing schedule. The court ordered the parties to file briefs by Monday of the week following the week of Election Day.

Texas:

  • In Anti-Defamation League v. Abbott, the Texas Supreme Court reversed a decision of the Third District Court of Appeals and dissolved an injunction issued by the trial court that blocked Governor Abbott’s order authorizing only one drop-off location per county for absentee ballots. Governor Abbott’s order therefore remains in effect.
  • In Hotze v. Hollins, plaintiffs filed a complaint in federal district court against Harris County, Texas clerk Chris Hollins, alleging that the county’s provision of curbside voting violates Texas election law and the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs have asked the court to order the rejection of any votes already cast according to the county’s curbside procedures. A district judge has scheduled an emergency hearing for Monday morning.

U.S. Postal Service Cases:

  • In Washington v. Trump, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian ordered daily hearings through Nov. 10 for the USPS to report on facilities and processing centers in particular regions of Michigan and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin:

  • In Democratic National Committee v. Wisconsin State Legislature, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the application of the Democratic National Committee and others seeking to vacate a Seventh Circuit decision that blocked a district judge’s extension of Wisconsin’s absentee ballot receipt deadline. The court did not issue a majority opinion explaining the reasons for the denial, but Chief Justice Roberts issued a concurring opinion attempting to reconcile the case with a differing result in Pennsylvania Democratic Party v. Boockvar. Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh issued separate concurring opinions, while Justice Kagan authored a dissent.