Editor’s Note: here is a rundown of the various court actions currently ongoing by Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. as well as Republican groups, and perhaps others, concerning the November 3 elections. Many suits or requests for court orders concerning the election have been dispensed with – this page is for the ongoing matters and was last updated 11/13/2020 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Arizona: On Friday, November 13, 2020 it has been widely reported that the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee dropped their lawsuit. According to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins “Lawyers filed a lawsuit seeking a review of all ballots cast on Election Day but dropped it after making the determination that the margin could not be overcome.”
Michigan: The campaign filed suit in federal court in Michigan on November 11. It asks the court to prevent Michigan from certifying any vote counts that include ballots “fraudulent or unlawfully cast.” That includes ballots processed while poll watchers were excluded from observing. No hearings or other actions have been scheduled by the court presently. You can read the complaint here.
Pennsylvania: The Trump campaign filed suit in federal court in Pennsylvania. The campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, said, “Voters in Pennsylvania were held to different standards simply based on how they chose to cast their ballot, and we believe this two-tiered election system resulted in potentially fraudulent votes being counted without proper verification or oversight, as well as many voters being disenfranchised simply for casting their votes in person.” You can read the complaint here. It is before Judge Brann, an Obama appointee sitting in Pennsylvania’s Middle District. Oral Argument is scheduled for 11/17/2020 with an evidentiary hearing on Thursday, 11/19/2020.
Before the election took place, the Pennsylvania Republican Party sued the state at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Trump campaign has asked to be added to the suit over a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that extended the deadline for mail ballots to be received by three days. Justice Alito, who handles emergency matters from Pennsylvania, ordered counties to segregate those late-arriving ballots. Alito wrote on Friday, November 6, that he was referring the matter to the full Court for the next steps, but no action has been taken since then. You can read the various filings here.
On Thursday, November 12, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, a state intermediate appeals court, ordered all Pennsylvania Boards of Elections not to count certain late-arriving mail-in ballots. This case does not concern the many ballots allowed after election day due to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling now being challenged at the United States Supreme Court. This case only concerns those ballots that were verified up to three days after the election. The Commonwealth Court ruled here that Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar improperly granted people who voted using absentee or mail-in ballots three additional days to provide proof or verify their identification if counties were missing that information.
The Trump campaign has a suit ongoing in at least one other state court in Pennsylvania, as well. They are appealing a decision from the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, which denied the campaign’s request to toss out 4,466 ballots that were not properly filled out under state law. You can read the complaint here. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday, November 13, at 10 a.m.
Wisconsin: According to press accounts, the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, suggested another lawsuit could be filed in the state, claiming “exactly the same thing happened” as in Pennsylvania in terms of denying the Trump campaign access to the ballot count. At press time, the campaign has not filed suit in Wisconsin.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.