Brad Heath Profile picture
21 Nov, 19 tweets, 6 min read
The judge observes that the Trump campaign is "trying to mix-and-match claims to bypass contrary precedent." Image
The court rules that both the Trump campaign and its two attempted-voter plaintiffs lack standing to bring the case. Image
The voter-plaintiffs lack standing because although they were denied the right to vote (because their ballots were invalid), they sued other counties and the state that did not invalidate their votes, not the counties that did. Image
As to the Trump campaign's own standing, the judge says that's "particularly nebulous, because neither in the [complaint] nor in its briefing does the Trump Campaign clearly assert what its alleged injury is." Instead, the court had to "piece together the theory of standing." Image
The judge told Trump's lawyers at the hearing last week he would go read the case they cited to establish standing. He did. It "does not contain a discussion of competitive standing or any other theory of standing applicable in federal court." Image
The judge is clearly unimpressed with the quality of the Trump team's legal advocacy.
The court rules that even if Trump's campaign had standing to bring this case, which it doesn't, its Equal Protection claim would still fail on the merits. Image
The court says it is "perfectly rational for a state to provide counties discretion to notify voters that they may cure procedurally defective ballots." This is not an Equal Protection violation. Image
Judge: "Even assuming that they can establish that their right to vote has been denied, which they cannot, Plaintiffs seek to remedy the denial of their votes by invalidating the votes of millions of others. ... This is simply not how the constitution works." Image
The court seems puzzled that Trump wants to invalidate the presidential race, but uphold other races on the same ballot. "Even if it were logically possible to hold PA's electoral system both constitutional and unconstitutional at the same time, the Court would not do so." Image
The voters who said their invalid ballots weren't counted could have just asked the court to order them counted. Instead, "they ask the Court to violate the rights of 6.8 million Americans. It is not in the power of the Court to violate the Constitution." Image
This is a theme: Trump's legal team made a total hash of his case. This is not the kind of thing you see in cases that have been litigated well. Image
The campaign's theory that its poll-watchers were denied access isn't an Equal Protection violation because they didn't allege that Biden's got better access. "Without actually alleging that one group was treated differently than another, Plaintiff's first argument falls flat." Image
The judge said Trump's lawyers didn't understand Bush v. Gore. Image
The court dismisses Trump's case with prejudice and denies permission to file an amended complaint to restore some of the arguments his lawyers said they removed from the case by mistake. It would merely "unduly delay resolution of these matters." Image
The short explanation of the reasons the judge tossed President Trump's Pennsylvania lawsuit is: All of them.

The plaintiffs lacked standing. They lacked evidence. They wanted an unconstitutional remedy. Their legal arguments were "strained" and "without merit." Image
Trump's lawyers *really* made a mess of this. The judge said one claim, "like Frankenstein's Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together from two distinct theories in an attempt to avoid controlling precedent."

This is ... the Kraken? I dunno. Image
This leaves Trump with two remaining lawsuits in which his lawyers can offer up the evidence they've promised of a massive scheme to subvert American democracy.

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More from @bradheath

23 Nov
President Trump's lawyers have filed their Third Circuit brief. They're asking the court to reverse the district court's decision that they could not amend their complaint a second time. Image
Trump's lawyers want to make clear that they're not "seeking to disenfranchise 6.8 million voters." They're seeking to disenfranchise some subset of 1.5 million voters who cast absentee ballots in some counties. Image
(Though their lawsuit literally asked that the court prevent the state from certifying the results of the election.)
Read 11 tweets
23 Nov
President Trump's lawyers just told the Third Cir. they plan to seek an emergency restraining order to block Pennsylvania from certifying its election results. Image
This is something Trump could have done when it filed its appeal. Or yesterday. Or .....
Trump's legal team says that because of the " the extreme time pressures involved in drafting and filing all of the motions and briefs required," it should get to add 1,300 words to its brief. Image
Read 5 tweets
23 Nov
Meanwhile, John Solomon has been looking through court cases and claims to have found "a mountain of evidence has been amassed in private lawsuits alleging there was, in fact, significant and widespread voting misconduct."

There isn't. This is profoundly misleading. Image
Here's the link if you're curious,…, though I caution you that reading it will leave you *less* informed.

Solomon claims to have found "a dozen compelling allegations of voting irregularities."

But no.
Item 1 is a Detroit poll worker who claimed thousands of ballots had been backdated or falsified. She did claim that, but Solomon leaves out quite a lot. Image
Read 8 tweets
23 Nov
So the big election-rigging case President Trump wants to tee up for the Supreme Court is actually whether his lawyers should have gotten permission to fix a filing they screwed up.
Best case this strategy means Trump gets to go back to the district court and lose on standing a second time?
President Trump's appeal of a judge's brutal rejection of his efforts to overturn Pennsylvania's election -- the one his lawyers said would get them to the Supreme Court -- is *only* about whether the judge should have given them leave to fix a complaint his lawyers screwed up. Image
Read 22 tweets
22 Nov
For those wondering about the consequences of President Trump's efforts to sow distrust in voting and elections, here's a pretty significant one: It will help states sustain new restrictions on voting if they choose to implement them.
That's so because states don't need to prove they're combating fraud to justify voting restrictions. They don't really need to prove there's fraud at all. It's often enough to show they're addressing the public's fear of fraud and trying to create confidence in elections.
And the president's tactics -- and the utterly delusional conspiracies spreading online and on some of his favored TV channels -- have certainly worked. A third of voters think there was "a lot" of fraud in this election. Nearly all of Trump's supporters do. (From @YouGov.) Image
Read 4 tweets
22 Nov
It is certainly true that losing a case gets you one step closer to appellate review. However /
If you had instead won the case, you would have already won and wouldn't need to appeal, which is the usual strategy in litigation.
Also, if your goal is to tee up a case for appellate review, you don't want to lose like this.

You don't want to have to take up a case that you lost in part because it was incompetently litigated. And you don't want to take up a case you lost for Every Possible Reason.
Read 11 tweets

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