Georgia Gippers Take Break From Kicking The Sh*t Out Of Each Other To Get Beat Up By Judges
Republicans are tryin' it in Georgia, with a whole spate of lawsuits aiming to make it harder to cast a ballot in the Peach State. But as with most GOP election litigation, their claims are shit, so they're not having much luck.
Yesterday, Georgia Gippers got tossed out of federal court twice on cases so stupid the judge didn't even need time after oral argument to deliberate. So much winning, y'all!
In the morning, the 12th Congressional District Republican Committee made their case to US District Judge J. Randal Hall that ballot drop boxes are UNLEGAL, and opening absentee ballot envelopes before the election is UNLEGAL and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is mean and bad for telling election workers that they're not handwriting experts, so don't get cute.
But Judge Hall was not impressed with the plaintiffs' claim to standing, and was even less down with their belated realization, less than a week before the runoff, that election procedures in use throughout the primary and the general were suddenly illegal. The suit was filed on Dec. 9, and, as of today, one million Georgians have already voted early. It is far too late to be trying to change the rules of this game.
"We are not on the eve of an election," Judge Hall, a Bush appointee said. "We are, as it relates to this particular election, closing in on halftime."
In the afternoon, the Georgia Republican Party and campaigns of Republican Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue had their day in court to argue that SOS Raffensperger is burdening their civil rights by failing to adequately police signatures on absentee ballots to root out the rampant fraud, which no one has been able to prove in the dozen cases already filed, although its existence must be assumed from Donald Trump's failure to win the state. Obviously!
The case began with the plaintiffs' attorney George Terwilliger attempting to distance himself from Messrs. Wackass, Jackass, Windsock, and Hairballs. "I'm not Sidney Powell. I'm not Lin Wood. I'm not Rudy Giuliani," he announced. Which is true, as far as it goes. Terwilliger is a thoroughly inside-the-beltway lawyer who's been pals with Bill Barr for decades. And, oh, hey, look, here's Terwilliger popping up this week in BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold's FOIA requests, telling his pal Bill not to cry too hard about mean Barb McQuade saying he's a hack and a disgrace who should resign and go live in a yurt.
DOJ follow up to that George Terwilliger email https://t.co/1ZYCV1ZXaZ— Jason Leopold (@Jason Leopold)1607882494.0
Anyway, if Terwilliger wants to differentiate himself from the rest of the Trumpland hacks, he probably shouldn't put his name on shit like this.
In addition, the election data from the November 3, 2020 general election demonstrates that rejection rates based on signature mismatch dropped substantially compared to the 2018 and 2016 elections, suggesting that new review procedures implemented on November 3, which require three-person review only of ballots that are being considered for rejection, may have caused reviewers to disregard the General Assembly's mandate to conduct a meaningful signature matching process.
That never happened. As Reuters reports, the signature rejection rate in 2018 and 2020 was exactly the same.
But speaking of Lin Wood et al., Adam Klasfeld at Law & Crime notes that Terwilliger and his clients probably have those loons to thank for their unceremonious ejection by US District Judge Eleanor L. Ross based on lack of standing.
Both lawsuits failed in part because of the legal antics of right-wing lawyer Lin Wood, whose conspiratorial ravings have made it harder for the conservative mainstream to get their lawsuits out the gate.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is binding upon Georgia, tightened the rules for jurisdiction in rejecting an appeal a ruling by a Trump-appointed judge who found Wood's last-ditch bid to block certification of the Peach State's vote failed as a matter of law and fact.
But the day wasn't over — with these assholes, there's always another bad faith lawsuit just waiting to befoul the federal docket. And this one's a doozy!
According to the Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and PACs supporting the Loeffler and Perdue campaigns, it's illegal under the Voting Rights Act for people who have voted in another state's Senate primary to move to Georgia and vote in the run-off. The chutzpah of these people trying to use the Voting Rights Act to disenfranchise their own constituents!
Leave aside the fact that the 14th Amendment guarantees the right to move all over God's Green Country and participate in democracy as an equal citizen. And while we're at it, let's just forget that federal courts take an extremely dim view of "vote dilution" as a basis for standing — that is, they're not willing to redress a generalized injury to a voter or candidate simply because some indefinite number of ballots cast in a given race may be defective.
The GOP's position here is that the runoff is actually a continuation of the general election, and thus it is voting twice to cast a ballot in, say, North Carolina's Senate race in November, move to Georgia in December, and vote in the runoff in January.
"Giving some individuals two votes, while giving others only one vote, is repugnant to equal protection and due process of the law," they moan in their complaint.
The problem with this theory, as law professor Anthony Michael Kreis points out, is that, if the runoff and the general are the same contest, then every primary voter is now barred from participating in the runoff lest they violate the federal prohibition on casting two ballots in the same race — a result which cannot possibly be correct, because DUH these are two separate federal elections.
And in case there's any confusion about that, the FEC treats the primary, general, and runoff as three separate races for the purpose of campaign donation limits. Because they are three separate races!
But the GOP is not so much with the facts and law stuff, so they're demanding that SOS Raffensperger segregate every ballot from a voter who registered after Nov. 3, a number that has already topped 76,000, and if that number exceeds the margin of victory, he must "investigate whether such voters already voted for U.S. Senator in another state in the 2020 general election" and discard those votes as invalid.
Yes, for real! Honestly, I saw Sen. Perdue make this argument three days ago, and decided it was just too ridiculous to write up because, LOL, THEY'LL NEVER TRY THAT SHIT WITH A JUDGE. But see: 2020.
It's not gonna happen, but ... the balls on these people!
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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.