Another Day, Another Judge Kicks Trump In The D*ck
How many election cases have Trump and his minions lost now? Seventy? Two thousand? A million?
Well, as of this morning, you can make that a million and one, as US District Judge Mark H. Cohen dropkicked the latest Trump election suit in Georgia after a brutal hearing in which he made his low opinion of both the case and the lawyering eminently clear.
In keeping with tradition, Trump hired neither an experienced election lawyer nor someone admitted to practice in the federal court where he was filing. Instead he hired Kurt Hilbert, whose "primary areas of expertise involve real estate, construction, banking, employment, and corporate matters," according to his own website. There's a procedure in Georgia law to challenge election results in timely fashion, but Trump didn't do that. Instead he waited until December 4 to sue in Georgia state court to un-certify the state's electors, and Team Trump fucked that up six ways from Sunday.
Here's how the Georgia defendants described the events in their reply brief:
Plaintiff's filing was initially rejected because he failed to pay filing fees. That suit was accordingly not docketed until December 7, 2020—the same day the Secretary and the Governor again certified the Election results and the day the Governor transmitted the certification of the slate of presidential electors to the Archivist of the United States. Despite his late filing, Plaintiff also sought "emergency relief" seeking to stop the election certification in the superior court on December 7, 2020. Plaintiff voluntarily withdrew that request the following day. On December 10, 2020, Petitioners filed a motion to appoint a judge in the superior court election matter pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-523. [Internal citations omitted.]
Remember when Trump complained to Raffensperger that "they haven't even assigned us a judge"? It's because he didn't ask for it in a motion, like a competent practitioner would have done. Then when they finally worked that part out, Trump's legal brain trust immediately turned around and filed an appeal, which put their motions to the trial court — including the motion for a judge — on hold.
The next day, on December 11, 2020, Plaintiff simultaneously filed a Second Motion for Emergency Injunctive Relief asking the superior court to decertify the election, and a "notice of appeal and intention to seek writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Georgia." That appeal, though improvident, ill-conceived, and meritless, divested the Superior Court of Fulton County of any jurisdiction over the matter. The Superior Court of Fulton County reminded Plaintiff of this on December 29, 2020, when it entered an order noting that Plaintiff's appeal had divested the superior court of jurisdiction and thus the "Court [could] not consider [Plaintiffs' request to appoint a judge pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 21-2-523] until either the appeal is concluded or the notice of appeal is withdrawn." Rather than acting immediately, Plaintiff waited until the next day, December 30, 2020 to actually withdraw the appeal. The superior court then, that same day, entered an order to start the judicial appointment process and that same day, the Honorable Adele Grubbs was appointed to hear Plaintiff's election dispute. The day after she was assigned, Judge Grubbs set the trail date in the state court matter for January 8, 2020. That same day, December 31, 2020, Plaintiff filed the present suit.
TL, DR? They fucked up the state filing, then raced to federal court and said the state was ignoring their extremely excellent litigating which is NO FAIR and UNLEGAL and BAD LAW THINGIE.
And then, when they got to the federal court, they stepped on even more rakes. How is that even possible???
Here's how Judge Cohen described it in his scheduling order yesterday:
Although Plaintiffs counsel could have requested through this Court's ECF filing system an immediate hearing over this past holiday weekend, and obtained a hearing before the duty district Judge, counsel did not do so. Consequently, this Court was not informed of these filings until this morning at 9:38 a.m. when the case was assigned to the undersigned. There also is no indication that Defendants have been served with a copy of either the Complaint or the Motion. Additionally, it does not appear as though Plaintiff is seeking ex parte relief.
Ever hear the expression "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"?
Well, about that ...
@stphnfwlr “That is actually not the case.”— dr. mondilator, esq. (@dr. mondilator, esq.) 1609862107.0
Trump's legal team objected to having the hearing broadcast, so big thanks to this local lawyer for attending in-person and giving us all the rundown. In short, it was a BLOODBATH, with Judge Cohen rejecting the motion for injunctive relief — that is, the request to order the decertification of Georgia's election results — from the bench, promising to put out an order post haste. And that order should be delicious reading! But in the meantime, it appears from the above thread that Judge Cohen rejected Trump's motion for:
- Mootness, since the election has already been certified and Georgia's electors submitted;
- Lack of an issue of federal law;
- Wrong defendants, since Trump only sued Governor Kemp and Secretary of State Raffensperger, when it's county officials who run the election;
- Federal courts must abstain from cases which are already being decided in state courts, as this one is;
- Laches, which no lawyer thought about between taking the bar exam and 2020;
- And, that old canard, your failure to plan to practice law competently is not the federal judiciary's emergency!
[Federal Docket / State Docket via Democracy Docket]
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.