Hours after failing in a similar lawsuit in Michigan, pro-Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood lost their effort to decertify Georgia’s election before a federal judge who called their bid the most audacious he had ever seen.
“The relief that the plaintiffs seek, this court cannot grant,” U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten ruled from the bench after a roughly hourlong hearing, where he called “the most extraordinary relief ever sought” for an election in a court.
Judge Batten, a conservative judge appointed by George W. Bush, noted that allowing the case to stand would amount to “judicial activism,” as it requested relief far beyond his power.
Powell and Wood sought nothing less than the decertification of Georgia’s election and the redistribution of the electors in favor of lame-duck President Donald Trump.
Earlier this morning, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker rejected a similar lawsuit as anti-democratic.
“The People have spoken,” Parker said, referring to the election.
Powell’s courtroom arguments rambled through a hodgepodge of election-related conspiracy theories involving dead Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez to debunked smears about Dominion Voting Systems. She dodged or ignored several questions about more mundane legal matters such as standing, mootness, and timeliness.
She also claimed, falsely, that Bush v. Gore decertified Florida’s election. It did not.
Judge Batten’s skepticism about the legal hydra of Powell’s creation—which she has likened to the mythical octopus known as the Kraken—was evident from the start of the hearing. He noted that the case alleged a vast, dark conspiracy that roped in everyone from Iranian mullahs, Latin American revolutionary socialists, voting-machine technicians, and the Peach State’s Republican governor and Secretary of State.
He also said the pro-Trump lawyers glossed over Election Law 101 matters like the doctrine of laches, which he explained by stating: “The law is pretty clear that a party cannot obtain the extraordinary remedy of injunctive relief unless he acts quickly.”
Georgia’s attorney Joshua Barrett Belinfante defended the state’s process.
“Georgia laws are constitutional,” Belinfante said. “Georgia elections are constitutional. Georgia machines are constitutional.”
Dozens of lawsuits by disappointed Trump loyalists have failed in court, including in another case in Georgia where Lin Wood appeared as a plaintiff rather than as a lawyer.
In that case, Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg found: “To halt the certification at literally the 11th hour would breed confusion and disenfranchisement that I find have no basis in fact and law.”
Attorney Amanda R. Callais, who represents multiple Democratic party entities, quoted another Trump-appointee in emphasizing that the people rule in elections.
“Voters, not lawyers, choose the President,” Callais said, echoing a unanimous Third Circuit decision rejecting a suit argued by Rudy Giuliani in the lower court. “Ballots, not briefs, decide elections.”
Powell and Wood brought two other cases in Wisconsin and Arizona, which have not yet issued decisions.
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