A slate of Republican “shadow electors” who tried to cast electoral votes for Donald Trump in Michigan dropped their lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s election results on Friday. The voluntary dismissal of the case puts an end to the first of the infamously inept “Kraken” lawsuits filed by right-wing attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood.
The lawsuit—filed against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson—alleged that President-elect Joe Biden only won the popular vote because tens of thousands of ballots were forged. It further claimed that ballot canvassing observers were prevented from being able to meaningfully oversee the counting of votes.
Three of the plaintiffs in the suit—Timothy King, Marian Ellen Sheridan, and John Earl Haggard—were GOP presidential electors who sent alternative electoral votes in favor of Trump to Congress in hopes the state legislature or vice president count them in place of the Democratic electors’ votes. Such a move, if attempted, would have violated state law as well as the U.S. Constitution.
The decision to voluntarily drop the case comes three days after the plaintiffs asked the court for an extension to respond to the defendants’ motion to have the suit dismissed, telling the court that the size and scope of the pleadings required additional time.
Attorneys for the City of Detroit, who intervened in the case, opposed the extension in a scathing two-page court filing Tuesday. The document emphasized that frivolous lawsuits challenging the election contributed to last week’s violent riots at the U.S. Capitol.
“Our democracy is in jeopardy. On January 6, 2021, an angry mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the United States Capitol, interfering with the peaceful transition of power, while threatening to kidnap Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and to execute Vice President Mike Pence. At least five people lost their lives in that violent insurrection. That mob was riled up and motivated by the lies perpetrated in this lawsuit. These very lawyers incited the violence that has upended our nation,” Detroit’s counsel David Fink wrote. “There is no time for delay. The City of Detroit has been patient and has not asked this Court to expedite these proceedings, but this requested delay could further exacerbate an already dangerous situation. The seditious lies promoted by this lawsuit must be reviewed and rejected as soon as possible.”
As previously reported by Law&Crime, Fink last week asked the court to sanction and disbar both Powell and Wood.
“While the First Amendment may protect the right of political fanatics to spew their lies and unhinged conspiracy theories, it does not grant anyone a license to abuse our courts for purposes which are antithetical to our democracy and to our judicial system,” Fink wrote in a brief supporting his motion. “Plaintiffs and their counsel cannot be allowed to use the court system to undermine the constitutional and statutory process by which we select our leaders.”
[image via YouTube screengrab]
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