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Judge Releases The Kraken On Sidney Powell And Lin Wood
'This lawsuit should never have been filed.'
"This lawsuit should never have been filed."
That is both a direct quote from and the basic gist of Judge Linda Parker's opinion in King v. Whitmer . This week, the universe was given the gift of Judge Parker's opinion yelling at Trump's krackhead lawyers for bringing a rotting squid carcass into her courtroom.
(Okay, that last part is paraphrasing.)
Last fall, Judge Parker drew the short straw and was assigned Sidney Powell and Lin Wood's Michigan case trying to overturn the election.
As it turns out, Judge Parker was none too pleased with moldy sushi from the shores of Lake Michigan stinking up the courthouse. As she summarizes to begin the opinion,
This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process. It is one thing to take on the charge of vindicating rights associated with an allegedly fraudulent election. It is another to take on the charge of deceiving a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were infringed, without regard to whether any laws or rights were in fact violated. This is what happened here.
And so, Parker ordered each plaintiffs' lawyer in this case to pay the State of Michigan and City of Detroit's costs and fees, and also take classes about how to be lawyers.
She also referred each lawyer — Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Emily Newman, Julia Haller, Brandon Johnson, Scott Hagerstrom, Howard Kleinhendler, Gregory Rohl, respectively — to the disciplinary authorities where they're admitted to practice law. There, their licenses could be suspended or revoked. (Also known as " doing a Guiliani .")
They fucked around. Now they find out.
Remember last November and December, when a bunch of brainwashed grundles were telling anyone who would listen that Trump had actually won the election? Despite losing literally every swing state?
But here's the thing.
While there are many arenas—including print, television, and social media—where protestations, conjecture, and speculation may be advanced, such expressions are neither permitted nor welcomed in a court of law.
Dearest Sidney and Lin, you can go on Twitter and say alllllll the dumb shit you want. (Oh, sorry, Lin. I forgot you actually can't .) The First Amendment protects your right to spew cultish conspiracy theories in the marketplace of ideas! The First Amendment does not, however, give you the right to make shit up and abuse our court system with lawsuits trying to overturn a democratic election.
Indeed, one of the main points of the ethics class literally every law student takes is: only make arguments based in both fact and law.
Or, to put it in words these lawyers might understand: Facts, good. Law, good. Making shit up, bad.
But Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, & Co. spent more time coming up with Lovecraft references than they did worrying about little things like "ethics," "law," or "facts." And so, we find ourselves in a timeline where a federal judge has to spend her days writing sentences like:
Of course, an "empty-head" but "pure-heart" does not justify lodging patently unsupported factual assertions.
This is not okay. The Court remains baffled after trying to ascertain what convinced Plaintiffs' counsel otherwise.
[S]ubjective belief that an event occurred does not constitute evidence that the event in fact occurred.
So. Were they wrong about the law? Yes.
Plaintiffs' counsel advanced claims that were not well-grounded in the law, as demonstrated by their (i) presentment of claims not warranted by existing law or a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing the law; (ii) assertion that acts or events violated Michigan election law, when the acts and events (even if they occurred) did not; and (iii) failure to inquire into the requirements of Michigan election law.
But were they wrong about the facts? Also yes.
Plaintiffs' counsel advanced claims that were also not well-grounded in fact, as demonstrated by their (i) failure to present any evidentiary support for factual assertions; (ii) presentment of conjecture and speculation as evidentiary support for factual assertions; (iii) failure to inquire into the evidentiary support for factual assertions; (iv) failure to inquire into evidentiary support taken from other lawsuits; and (v) failure to inquire into [their so-called expert's] outlandish and easily debunked numbers.
And lawyers are supposed to be better than this, you absolute wankers.
Indeed, attorneys take an oath to uphold and honor our legal system. The sanctity of both the courtroom and the litigation process are preserved only when attorneys adhere to this oath and follow the rules, and only when courts impose sanctions when attorneys do not. And despite the haze of confusion, commotion, and chaos counsel intentionally attempted to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaintiffs' attorneys have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way. As such, the Court is duty-bound to grant the motions for sanctions[.]
To the astonishment of absolutely everyone paying attention, Powell used her sanctions hearing to compare herself to Thurgood Marshall, and, in Judge Parker's words, "baselessly suggest" her dumbass suit was "akin to Brown v. Board of Education ."
"Yes, attorneys may and should raise difficult and even unpopular issues to urge change in the law where change is needed." But, umm, (andnoIcan'tbelievethisactuallyfuckinghastobesaid,) Sidney Powell, ain't you no Thurgood Marshall. As Judge Parker puts it,
Brown arose from an undeniable history during which Black Americans were treated as second-class citizens through legalized segregation in the schools of our country. In stark comparison, the present matter is built on fantastical claims and conspiracy theories.
SO SIT ALL THE WAY DOWN, WOULD YOU PLEASE.
Oh, and remember when Dominion Voting Systems sued Sidney and others for saying their company fixed the election for Joe Biden? Because of dead Hugo Chavez? And then Sidney rolled with the DEFENSE that what she said in her lawsuits were so dumb that no one should have ever believed her?
Powell latched onto the Dominion plaintiffs' assertion that her allegations amounted to "wild accusations" and "outlandish claims" and therefore, she argued, "reasonable people would not accept" these alleged statements and allegations "as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by courts through the adversary process."
Turns out judges don't love it when you say "I was being such a moron that no one should have taken me seriously and it's your own fault if you did" about actual suits you filed in a court of law.
SHOCKED, I AM SHOCKED!
It is not acceptable to support a lawsuit with opinions, which counsel herself claims no reasonable person would accept as fact and which were "inexact," "exaggerate[ed]," and "hyperbole." Nor is it acceptable to use the federal judiciary as a political forum to satisfy one's political agenda. Such behavior by an attorney in a court of law has consequences.
Nor was the judge persuaded by Powell's argument that she was simply too careless and ignorant to figure out if "facts" were "true.
Plaintiffs' counsel may not bury their heads in the sand and thereafter make affirmative proclamations about what occurred above ground. In such cases, ignorance is not bliss—it is sanctionable.
Or, as I might put it, "You are dumber than an ostrich taint."
Some of the stupidest criminals in the world are working right here in America. I've always been very proud of that.
Pro-tip: try to live your life so a judge never has to tell you there's a difference between Telegram and federal court.
Plaintiffs' counsel's politically motivated accusations, allegations, and gamesmanship may be protected by the First Amendment when posted on Twitter, shared on Telegram, or repeated on television. The nation's courts, however, are reserved for hearing legitimate causes of action.
Sidney. Lin. Do you ... know what an attorney is ? Neither I nor Judge Parker is convinced that you do.
The judge feels compelled to remind the lawyers that "[a]ttorneys are not journalists." But "[p]erhaps this confused understanding as to the job of an attorney, and what the law says about the attendant duties and obligations, is what led Plaintiffs' counsel to" decide their opinions counted as facts.
Unfortunately for team squid, "I'm too dumb to live" does not insulate you from the consequences for your actions. If you don't believe me, just ask the anti-vaxxers currently dying of COVID.
Bring on the sanctions!
Sanctions are required to deter the filing of future frivolous lawsuits designed primarily to spread the narrative that our election processes are rigged and our democratic institutions cannot be trusted. Notably, many people have latched onto this narrative, citing as proof counsel's submissions in this case. The narrative may have originated or been repeated by Former President Trump and it may be one that "many Americans" share; however, that neither renders it true nor justifies counsel's exploitation of the courts to further spread it.
Now, the lawyers have to take at least twelve hours of "how to be a lawyer" classes, with at least six about election law and six about pleading standards. The judge anticipated these wingnuts would try to take continuing legal education courses taught by Larry Klayman at Trump University, and mandated they "be offered by a non-partisan organization" and "paid for at counsel's expense."
[T]his lawsuit was not about vindicating rights in the wake of alleged election fraud. Instead, it was about ensuring that a preferred political candidate remained in the presidential seat despite the decision of the nation's voters to unseat him.
Facts supporting the "Trump won" fever dreams are more elusive than literal kraken; giant squids with eyes the size basketballs are actually a real thing that exists.
As I have said a lot over the last several years: this may not be the worst timeline, but it certainly is the dumbest.
This court order could have straight-up quoted directly from Billy Madison and it would have made complete sense.
What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
But the judge's actual opinion is pretty great, too.
Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:
And did I say "Suck it, Sidney Powell"? Suck it, Sidney Powell.
Jamie is salty and snarky on Twitter , too.