I'm listening to the L Lin Wood hearing - won't livetweet.

But I will say this:
I'd love to play poker with Lin's lead attorney.
Youch. Mr. Smith was stammering so hard the judge had to yell to get a word in edgewise.
(OK, maybe I'll livetweet a tiny bit.)
"I understand that is your argument. What is your evidence?"
I can give up livetweeting any time I want.
(Seriously, I'm multi-multitasking. So don't expect much from this.)
Right now, Mr. Smith (@LLinWood's lead goofus) is talking about his twenty-seven 8 to 10 page fully doofy affidavits which allege very little.
Did he just say that the "brightness" of the ballots is part of the means of detecting fraud?
Apparently not putting all the scanned images of ballots online is some kind of constitutional issue (according to plaintiffs).
Mr. Smith - I'd like to call my first - my only witness.

Judge Grimberg - LOL, nah, let's do standing some more.
"What is the constitutional claim your client is bringing"

Long long pause

"Due process"
"Substantive due process or procedural"

Long long pause

"Both."

[youch]
SOS's lawyer is reserving argument, and just asking how the judge wants to handle objections to testimony.
Witness is testifying.

GA Election worker - poll manager.

Judge is stopping because Mr. Smith couldn't be bothered to get his witness her own mic, and they're literally re-arranging chairs on the deck of-- I mean in the law firm conference room.
I'm kind of zoning right now, but if I hear something important I'll let you know.
But a very reasonable objection to testimony being beyond the scope of the complaint was just overruled "for now." So clearly that's going well for the plaintiff.
(Sarcasm in the last, for nonlawyers.)

We're now getting testimony on how tables were being put together.

Rivetting.
For clarity, 'rivetting' refers to the testimony, not the method of putting tables together.
This is a very precise witness when it comes to describing every single detail of ballot handling, down to the material the box was made out of and the order the boxes were arranged in.

So much so that she corrected herself on the relative position of "write-in" and "blank."
We're getting "what did the ballots look like" into the record now. In detail.
This is the witness testifying as to how pristine some ballots were, which didn't match her prior experience. They were "stark white" and the markings were consistent.
Witness keeps moving away from mic and court reporter keeps having issues.

Honestly not totally sure what witness is testifying to or why at this point.
I think this guy might be kind of on the edge of leading his own witness at this point but there might be a mercy rule in effect.
The witness looks very eager to be cross-examined.
We're now clarifying that the suspicious indication is the lack of creasing on absentee-style ballots.
"Why didn't you report this to the SOS office?"

"I reported a bunch of other stuff to the SOS office."
Honestly, this is very hard to care about -

She just testified as to wearing rubber gloves.

And now to her role in the Republican Party - "fairly active."
Democratic lawyer wants questions.

Smith objects that intervenor hasn't been moved in.

Judge asks if there are objections to intervenor.

Smith says yes.

Judge says "what are they"?
Mr. Smith says "we don't think they're relevant at this time."

Judge says "aren't they a party to the consent decree?"

Mr. Smith says "yes."

I'll be merciful to Smith and just jump ahead to the intervention has been allowed.
Democratic party lawyer now questioning.

Confirming that the witness wasn't involved in duplicating damaged ballots [which I'll bet is the reason for the "pristine" ballots].
No questions from NAACP. And no redirect.
Nope. He changed his mind.

Asked the witness about folding provisionals. The witness just made it into a better question for goofus.
Dem party just actually objected to a leading question, but doesn't look like they bothered waiting for a ruling - just plowed ahead with answer.
Lawyer now appears to be testifying? I think? Or is this argument?

Hard to tell.
He's saving the rest for his closing, so I think testifying?
Furrowing on judge's brow noticeably deepening.

Also, judge just said "anything further" and Smith said "yes" which was a very wrong answer.
Mr. Smith apparently just tried to slip in unsworn testimony from @LLinWood and the Judge caught it.

SOS now objecting to testimony from lawyer.

Lawyer is now claiming that anybody can do the calculations that the lawyer did and submitted as fact testimony.
Judge is going to allow the lawyer testimony, but will welcome testimony as to weight.
["I'm a lawyer, I can does maths" doesn't get very much weight.]
Was busy laughing at that so I've missed some of Russ Willard's competent argument.
But the argument is heavily focused on pointing out the "apples-to-oranges" nature of the argument.

Basically - Mr. Smith is incorporating all reasons for 2018 rejections, but if you look at the signature mismatch number only it's identical.
Mr. Smith is apparently trying to object to this as fact testimony rather than argument. Judge told him to wait.
Mr Smith is now objecting that this wasn't submitted on time and is testifying and becoming a witness.

And saying that he can't be a witness and lawyer at the same time - which is rich given his own attempt to testify.
Mr. Willard pointed out that the affidavit in question was timely submitted. Objection withdrawn.

Now on to SOS argument in chief.
Main argument is basically - no standing, no merits, no emergency, no nothing, why are we here?
We're on standing arguments now. Claim by claim. In all the details.

"There is no cognizable right to be an observer, which is what plaintiffs are trying to complain about."
"Also you sued the wrong parties - should have sued the counties." [paraphrase]

Also moot. And failed to serve notice of TRO filing until yesterday.
"It wasn't until his preferred candidate lost the election that..."

Another recurring theme of Republican election litigation this cycle.
Reinforcing the mootness argument -

They didn't sue the counties, who did the counting. Which is now done. And now all the SOS's only duty is to add 159 numbers.
Back to no chance of success on merits.

Pointing out that - unlike Bush v Gore - the state had uniform rules (but is still getting sued).
Wood is complaining about the audit process, but there is no right to be an observer, and ---

basically, Lin and Lin's goofs bungled everything is the argument, as far as I can tell.
"plaintiff seeks the largest disenfranchisement of eligible voters since the abolition of the poll tax"
Moving on to laches - which is really a strong argument here. Waiting until well after the election when the rules were announced in March is a bit much.
Summing up -

Damn. I cant do this justice but Willard is beating the everloving hell out of Smith and Wood in this summary.
Hamilton is now arguing for Democrats.

Basically, there's no justification for this kind of relief or case on thse facts/arguments.
Missed a few minutes there.
I guess we're on standing some more (sorry - had to take care of something).

Just getting back now.
"he cites no cases for this proposition, and I don't blame him because there are none" is an OK line, but I don't think Judge was impressed.
Basically, this is a long recap of the "he's just an individual voter and has no standing."

It's a good way to get rid of this kind of case, but I don't like that as a policy point.
Moving on to laches - 8 month delay, courts routinely apply laches in election cases, only sued a couple of days ago, millions of voters relied on this.

Counting days from various timepoints. Pointing out that there's no reason for the delay.
Judge says "Smith proffered that Wood didn't vote in the earlier elections"

Hamilton: no evidence on that, and this is a TRO, they should have brought it if they had them. And anyway it doesn't line up with the claim.
Claim doesn't depend on whether Mr Wood voted or who won - it's a challenge to the settlement.

Moving on to the Winter factors - plaintiff is 0 for 4.
No allegation of disparate treatment because of settlement treatment. Argument is that the treatment is different from what law of GA requires, not that the treatment is different for similarly situated individuals.
"It's not an equal protection claim by definition."

Also, the rules are totally consistent with GA law. And therefore with Election clause too.
I'm now wondering when Mr. Hamilton last got 8 hours of sleep, because he looks really tired.

But he's still plugging through on the lack of success on the merits.
Now doing both procedural and substantive due process because Wood's lawyer forgot which was which and went with both.

Pointing out there's no right to monitor a risk-limiting audit.
That was procedural due process. Substantive due process - fed courts stay out of garden-variety claims.

Irreparable harm - no harm to Wood, irreparable or otherwise.
But remedy would harm innocent voters irreparably.

Relief would strip millions of their constitutional rights. Balance of equities really really really not in favor of Wood [paraphrase].
All the relief requested is unprecedented in scope and some (the prospective relief) may violate GA law.

Requesting denial of TRO out of hand, dismissal.
NAACP intervention up - they'd like to argue so has to happen now.

Smith objecting on lack of relevance to case.

Judge thinks it's a closer call. Would like to resolve on briefs. But will allow argument for the record - but be brief and non-redundant.
I feel for the judge on that - Hamilton rambled a fair bit and Smith is pretty goofy.

Greenbaum on standing pointing to lack of harm. Addressing a cited case and distinguishing it - and doing it well.
Mr. Greenbaum just did a very good - textbook - job distinguishing a standing case. That case was denial of right to vote; voters had standing. Here, there's no denial so there's no harm to remedy.
Substantive due process - citing a case - showing how high the bar is for federal court intervention.
Doing a reasonable job keeping it brief, and not the worst possible job at avoiding redundant arguments.
Smith getting last word.

They're here for a fair, transparent process. "They talked about hearsay and that kind of thing" but the evidentiary rules are a bit relaxed.
WHAT WAIT WUT WUT WUT WUT WUT WUT WUT ----
Smith just said that he's been retained by Trump and if standing is an issue he's happy to add Trump as a party.
He's saying that in closing arguments. Literally waited to closing arguments. What the what what was that even??
Seriously -

Asking to amend to add a party during closing argument on a TRO/Injunction/Motion to Dismiss hearing is kind of novel.
That was not a complement.
One of the lawyers in Smith's office is playing a phone game right now. 85% sure.
This closing is about 10 minutes too long.

And I'm not sure it's been 10 minutes long yet.
This is rambling. Judge is moving pen like he's writing but he's not looking down and I'm not sure the pen is actually touching anything.
Most of this is merits stuff, but I think he lost on standing and laches.
And merits, too.
Judge has what I can only characterize as a flat, hostile stare at this point.
Now arguing on -- actually, I'm not sure what that last "skyrocketing" thing was about.
Judge was flipping through papers, but seems to have given up.

Has now crossed out something on a page.

(Seriously, Judge is deadpan an dI wouldn't play poker with him.)

But he looks a bit over it.
"The bottom line is this: doesn't it make sense to delay the certification of the votes until December 8th"

[no.]
Literally asking for impossible -

"And let me just address a few final points..."

Judge's sigh and shift in chair mirrored mine.
Still not clear how this argument gets around laches.

Now saying we received a lot of affidavits we didn't submit.

Judge is holding pen in both hands point up, may be contemplating driving it into an eyeball.
Done.

But a few things from Judge.

"We seem to be conflating audit and hand recount."

"To be clear, what you are challenging is an audit." "The recount would not occur until after the vote is certified."
"What we're challenging is what he said he was going to do."

Which isn't a great answer. But now clear for record.

"Did your client vote in person or absentee." In person.
Noting that other affidavits are not before judge, but submitted stuff has all been considered. For clarity of record, everything submitted has been accepted and admitted.
10 minute recess - might get a bench ruling.
It's about 10 minutes, so lawyers are turning cameras back on for their zoom feeds.

It'll officially be 10 minutes when Judge Grimberg comes back, which might be anytime between now and 20 minutes from now.
Back.
Plaintiff's motion for TRO denied.
Reasions:
"First and foremost is the standing issue."

Elections clause - no standing for private citizen.
Electors clause - interpreted in same manner.
Plaintiff lacks under either clause.
No standing on disparate treatment -

Generalized grievance.
Vote dilution - "that has been squarely rejected" for standing.
LOL - status as Republican donor - Judge calls that a "creative argument" which is very not a complement.

No standing there.
Lacks standing for due process related to audit -

Does not allege was a monitor or designator of monitors, so no standing. Caselaw disfavors third party.
Trump's not before me.

Laches is another basis for denying challenge to settlement agreement (although not audit argument). No justification for waiting until two weeks after general.
Hammering home on laches.

Proffer that plaintiff didn't vote isn't evidence and even if true doesn't justify the delay. Settlement was entered 8 months ago.
(Laches will also apply if they try to bring this claim on behalf on Trump.)

"Laches argument also prevails here."
SCOTUS has been consistent on cautioning against last-minute federal court intervention, and that definitely applies to the remedies sought.
Says plaintiff has failed to state a claim, so no likelihood of success on merits.
The decision on how the right to vote is implemented should be left to the state unless it interferes with the right to vote.
Plaintiff has not alleged disparate treatment. No allegation of how this affected his individualized right to vote.
Plaintiff's allegation that settlement agreement interferes with state law - "I don't see merit to that argument, frankly"

Finds on the record that the settlement was consistent with state law.
(This is a slaughter)
Even if not consistent, not a constitutional violation as to this plaintiff.

LOL - Judge just said this settlement does what Plaintiff wants.
Evidence of county-level issues seems to have been dealt with and if not the claim is against wrong defendants in wrong court.

No merit.
Due process - procedural and/or substantive.

No success on the merits. Monitoring the conduct of an election isn't a life, liberty, or a property so procedural due process fails.
Substantive also fails - "consistent body of precedent" says garden-variety issues don't rise to federal constitutional issues.

Finds witness credible. "BUT those are exactly the garden variety issues" that are not constitutional violations.
With regard to irreparable harm - that goes against plaintiff, too. "No evidence of any harm, much less irreparable harm."

The fact that the candidate did not prevail does not meet legal standard of harm. The grievances are generalized and third party.
Equities and public interest also weigh against. The relief is "quite striking" - would interfere with an election after it begun, which certainly outweighs any injury to this plaintiff, and harms the public interest in many ways.
Harms the need for us to have certainty.

"no basis in fact or in law."
And I think we're done.

Yup - adjourned.
That was a bloodbath - a loss for @LLinWood on literally every single factor on every single claim.
And that concludes the livetweet I said I wasn't doing and really could have given up whenever I wanted.

Thanks for reading, and welcome new people who clicked follow.
Summary for the nonlawyers:
@LLinWood had to show 4 things today:
That he's likely to win, that he suffers irreparable harm without the injunction, that the balance of fairness favors him, and that injunction is in the public interest.

He succeeded on all but 4 of those points.

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19 Nov
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