At least three new election lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Sidney Powell made a federal court filing in Wisconsin, Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) filed a petition at the U.S. Supreme Court on the Pennsylvania election, and President Donald J. Trump filed suit in the Wisconsin Supreme Court on that state’s vote acceptance.
From One Supreme to Another
Kelly’s action is substantially similar to one he prosecuted unsuccessfully at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which ruled against him on Nov. 28. His petition was filed as a request for an emergency injunction against certification of results, including asking the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf from transmitting or certifying results that include disputed mail-in ballots.
Kelly’s petition was submitted to Justice Samuel Alito, who handles emergency appeals from Pennsylvania. Alito may rule by granting or denying the request and referring the case to the full court for any follow-up actions, or he may simply refuse to make his own judgment and forward the request to the full court for consideration.
Trump told Fox‘s Maria Bartiromo in his first post-election interview on Nov. 29 he wanted to file “one nice, big, beautiful lawsuit.” His suit in the Wisconsin Supreme Court delineates classes of mail-in ballots he wishes them to strike down because they were deficient under Wisconsin state law. They are: absentee ballots issued in-person without written applications; absentee ballots without completed certifications or to which municipal clerks added information to complete them; absentee ballots cast by people who claim Indefinite Confinement Status who made such claims in late March and forward.
That last group concerns people who are essentially granted a special waiver to vote without showing otherwise legally required identification. The complaint says 28,395 votes were cast under Indefinite Confinement Status without ID in Milwaukee and Dane counties, all of which were from voters who applied for that status after March 25. The complaint states that “[i]n order to qualify for this exception,” a voter must be “elderly, infirm or disabled and indefinitely confined.”
Another ruling sought by the suit involves election activity and voting at Democracy in the Park events:
“These 17,271 absentee ballots were completed and/or delivered to employees of the City of Madison on September 26, 2020, and October 3, 2020, at 206 separate locations in an event dubbed ‘Democracy in the Park.’”
The suit claims such votes were cast in contravention of multiple Wisconsin statutes and must be tossed from any totals certified by the state.
Sidney Powell filed her latest suit in federal court in Wisconsin and suffered from more criticism that her work in election litigation has been slipshod. Before the case could be challenged by an opposing side or a hostile judiciary, it was practically scuttled by Powell’s “client.” Former Navy Seal and pro-Trump Wisconsin Republican congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden was named as one of the two plaintiffs in the case. He tweeted on Dec. 1:
“I learned through social media today that my name was included in a lawsuit without my permission. To be clear, I am not involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin.”
That revelation does not bode well for any litigation Powell is prosecuting. Consent to file suit in someone’s name is a legal prerequisite for doing so.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.