DC Judge Has Had It With These MF'ing Election Suits In His MF'ing Court
Remember right before Christmas when we declared a winner in the Craziest Election Lawtalkin' and Sisterlovin' (Allegedly!) Hoosegow Jamboree? Well, consider that dick judicially kicked. And hard!
This was the case where a bunch of swing state loonies teamed up with the Thomas More Society to sue Mike Pence, the House, the Senate, a bunch of state elections officials and also the Electoral College. The "theory" (loosely speaking) of their "case" (also loosely speaking) was that only state legislatures have the power to certify elections, and thus all the slates of electors in all fifty states and several decades of election law are UNLEGAL.
Before Christmas, US District Judge James E. Boasberg told the plaintiffs that he'd get right on their motion for a preliminary injunction just as soon as they demonstrated proof of service on Mr. Electoral College, whom the legal eagles at Thomas More decided "lives" at Congress, because, sure, why not? But now it appears the court's patience has run out.
In addition to being filed on behalf of Plaintiffs without standing and (at least as to the state Defendants) in the wrong court and with no effort to even serve their adversaries, the suit rests on a fundamental and obvious misreading of the Constitution. It would be risible were its target not so grave: the undermining of a democratic election for President of the United States. The Court will deny the Motion.
That is an inauspicious beginning for the plaintiffs. And it's all downhill from there.
"To say that Plaintiffs' 116-page Complaint, replete with 310 footnotes, is prolix would be a gross understatement," writes a clearly furious Judge Boasberg. "After explicitly disclaiming any theory of fraud, see ECF No. 1 (Complaint), ¶ 44 ('This lawsuit is not about voter fraud.'), Plaintiffs spend scores of pages cataloguing every conceivable discrepancy or irregularity in the 2020 vote in the five relevant states, already debunked or not, most of which they nonetheless describe as a species of fraud."
He's not impressed that the plaintiffs failed to serve the Electoral College, or anyone else — "Twelve days later, Plaintiffs have still not provided proof of notice to any Defendant, let alone filed a single proof of service or explained their inability to do so." — and he's not inclined to give them more time to dick around "[g]iven that time is short and the legal errors underpinning this action manifold."
Noting several cases in the past month affirming that individual voters lack standing to sue in federal court to enforce state election law based on "generalized grievances," Judge Boasberg expresses his extreme displeasure at being roped into a matter involving state election officials over whom the federal court in DC has no jurisdiction. "Plaintiffs cannot simply sue anyone they wish here in the District of Columbia."
And even if we all pretended that the plaintiffs had standing and were suing in the right court, and if they hadn't "waited until seven weeks after the election to bring this action and seek a preliminary injunction based on purportedly unconstitutional statutes that have existed for decades," they would still lose because their cockamamie theory that legislatures can't pass laws ordering the secretaries of state to certify election results "lies somewhere between a willful misreading of the Constitution and fantasy."
Oh, wait, Judge Boasberg isn't done yelling yet.
Yet even that may be letting Plaintiffs off the hook too lightly. Their failure to make any effort to serve or formally notify any Defendant — even after reminder by the Court in its Minute Order — renders it difficult to believe that the suit is meant seriously. Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures. As a result, at the conclusion of this litigation, the Court will determine whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs' counsel.
Does that read like a threat? Because it definitely is. This is a big, red flashing indicator that if these plaintiffs don't voluntarily remove themselves from his courtroom right fucking now, not only will they lose, but something VERY BAD will happen to the lawyers in this case.
Don't make Judge Boasberg angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
Just kidding. We looooooove us some angry Judge Boasberg. Put that shit right in our veins, baby!
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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.