#ELB: Donor Sues True the Vote Claiming He Gave $2.5 Million to Fund Jim Bopp Litigation to Expose Fraud in Battleground States to Help Trump, But the Group Withdrew Their Complaints and Did Nothing. He Wants a Refund. electionlawblog.org/?p=119080
The complaint alleges that True the Vote through Bopp finally agreed to give back only $1 million of the $2.5 million to fund absurd voter fraud litigation, in exchange for an agreement not to sue for the rest.
The complaint also alleges that True the Vote withdrew its four lawsuits filed by Bopp in consultation with the Trump campaign.
The reason for the withdrawal have not been made clear publicly.
Key point: the Trump brief says it is not trying to disenfranchise 6.8 million PA voters, "just" throw out about 70,000 votes. BUT it also asks ultimately for court to void election, and let PA legislature choose electors. That IS disenfranchising 6.8 million PA voters.
The brief is procedurally weird, asking casually for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. Trump campaign should be asking for an injunction pending appeal if it wants preliminary relief. But it doesn't. It wants remand to reconsider proposed amended complaint
#ELB: Breaking: In Total Loss for Trump Campaign in Its Most Major Remaining Election Case, Federal Court in Pennsylvania Dismisses Case and Denies Motion to File Amended Complaint [link to opinion] electionlawblog.org/?p=118942
The federal court judge just EXCORIATES the Trump campaign for seeking to disenfranchise nearly seven million Pennsylvania voters with SHODDY legal arguments. We told you it would be this way:
From the judge on the merits: "Plaintiffs’ only remaining claim alleges a violation of equal protection. This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together from two distinct theories in an attempt to avoid controlling precedent."
The Trump Campaign has filed its proposed Second Amended Complaint in the PA federal voting case. It's not much different than the earlier one and seeks the same relief. courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco…
They have tried to restore the claims arguing that the legislature and Secretary of State usurped the power of the state legislature under the Elections and Elector clauses, something they had abandoned given a new 3rd Circuit has saying they had no standing.
At bottom they are asking for the federal court to throw out the votes of millions of Pennsylvania voters and declare Trump the winner of the election (or let the legislature pick Trump). This is not a thing.
We don't get to replay election night next week, but it would look considerably different with final vote totals rather than the haphazard release of results yesterday caused in part by the pandemic. These public optics of election night matter. /1
But the other thing that matters is when the networks call a presidential race. The decision desks have been appropriately cautious given the odd patterns by which vote totals are revealed thanks to the pandemic. /2
If the networks and media companies say tomorrow or Friday that Biden has enough votes to be President, it will be very hard for Trump to keep up his small bore lawsuits and keep fighting. It's a powerful thing to see a presidential race called. Just ask Al Gore. /3
Trump is claiming victory in particular states based on partial returns, ignoring the potential for a shift to Biden. He's going state by state though and has not yet said he's won the election. (The race is too early to call)
Trump is saying his opponents want to go to court. It is Trump that has been going to court.
There it is: Trump says: "This is a fraud on the American public...Frankly we did win this election." He wants "voting" to stop but there is no more voting. He says he's going to the Supreme Court.
This is profoundly dangerous talk. Votes are still being tallied.
This has been an election day just the way I like it. Kinda slow on the election mess-up/long lines/intimidation/suppression/fraud rumor front.
Remarkable given what it took to get to today.
I'm not saying things can't go south still in the counting and the aftermath.
But last week I had to talk down a lot of people worried about violence and intimidation at polls, long lines, and tons of machine breakdowns.
The biggest election day failure is from USPS to timely deliver the ballots, and we can put the blame squarely on DeJoy.
Thanks to @johnkruzel who has been all over this story
Going to start a list of the ways that Republican lawmakers and election officials have needlessly made it harder to vote during COVID. Feel free to add on here. 1. Ohio SOS Frank LaRose opposing drop boxes while claiming his hands were tied. 2. TX Gov. Abbott reversing on boxes.
3. Pa. legislators and North Carolina legislators going all the way to the Supreme Court to try to stop extension of receipt of mail-in ballots mailed by election day. 4. Alabama SOS Merrill fighting against allowing counties to offer curbside voting for immunocompromised voters
5. South Carolina not challenging judicial elimination of witness signature during primaries, but challenging (all the way to the Supreme Court) same rule applied in general election; and doing so after instructions told voters no signature needed
I've been calling on my conservative friends to condemn Leonard Leo, one of the key players in building the Federalist Society and promoting Trump's judges to the federal courts, for backing a group trying to suppress the vote. But now there's evidence of Leo's self-dealing. /1
Here's the piece @Dahlialithwick and I wrote @Slate in May on how same people pushing conservative judges for the court were spawning more voter fraud myths through the "Honest Elections Project" backed by Leo to defend laws making it harder to vote. slate.com/news-and-polit… /2
Then @Dahlialithwick and I followed up in this @Slate piece showing same people providing financial backing to get three former Bush lawyers from Bush v. Gore on Supreme Court are pushing legal theories going to SCOTUS aimed at suppressing the vote. /3 slate.com/news-and-polit…
This Tom Cotton guy makes an empirical claim that the reason we have long lines is because of a shortage of volunteers. I say reports show other reasons, such as slow voter registration databases. I ask for receipts, and he says he won't provide proof of his claim.
It reminds me of when @JaneMayerNYer asked von Spakovsky why he would not provide me evidence that a Brooklyn grand jury report showed voter impersonation fraud. He told her he wasn't my "research assistant." When we got the report, it showed no such fraud.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/…
And to be clear, I'm following problems with our election process now all day, every day. If there's a problem somewhere with a lack of volunteers causing long lines I'd like to get the word out to get more volunteers. But everything I've seen suggests this is not the problem.
If you step back for a moment it is simply astounding to me that so many are working so hard to make it more difficult for people to vote. During a pandemic. Unreal.
I wrote an article about this early during the pandemic, and I concluded, contrary to what I've thought for the last 25 years, that the only way out of this mess is a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to vote and establishing nonpartisan election administration.
Here's that article: liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/el…
Three Pathologies of American Voting Rights Illuminated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, and How to Treat and Cure Them.
Since publication, the Supreme Court's conservative majority, and many lower appeals courts, have made things much worse.
All of a sudden from @BartonGellman's excellent @TheAtlantic piece, people are learning that we only get to vote for President because state legislatures give voters that right, and they can take it away. The risk of this happening in 2020 is not new but also not likely. /1
Here's @mjs_DC writing about this issue in March, and I've picked up on this theme in a number of my writings about the risks of the election with extensive normbreaking and constitutional hardball. /2 slate.com/news-and-polit…
The fact that we don't have a direct right to vote for President in the Constitution is a travesty (just like the potential for faithless electors to change electoral outcomes). In the long run we need constitutional change. /3 nytimes.com/2020/06/29/opi…
I posted a new paper at SSRN which is a brief response to a forthcoming @BULawReview online symposium on my book, Election Meltdown.
Optimism and Despair About a 2020 “Election Meltdown” and Beyond. Abstract: /1 papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
So @washingtonpost had article about how Google had not removed ads containing blatant misinformation about voting by mail. Then FOX attacks WaPo for treating absentee balloting and mail in balloting the same. They are. The "expert" criticizing Wapo has no elections background.
To the extent Trump and Fox are drawing a distinction between places where everyone automatically gets a mailed ballot and "absentee" states where one must request a ballot, almost every state is absentee. And full mail in states like Utah have very LOW rates of fraud.