Kenny rejected Jacob’s assertion of a “sinister motive” on the part of election officials, pointing specifically to her claims that supervisors told her not to compare signatures to verify voter eligibility and directed her to pre-date absentee ballots received at Detroit’s TCF Center the day after Election Day.
“Evidence offered by long-time State Elections Director Christopher Thomas, however, reveals there was no need for comparison of signatures at the TCF Center because eligibility had been reviewed and determined at the Detroit election headquarters,” the ruling states. “As to the allegation of ‘pre-dating’ ballots, Mr. Thomas explains that this action completed a data field inadvertently left blank during the initial absentee ballot verification process.”
The Campaign tries to repackage these state-law claims as unconstitutional discrimination. Yet its allegations are vague and conclusory. It never alleges that anyone treated the Trump campaign or Trump votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or Biden votes.
1. The Campaign had to plead plausible facts, not just conclusory allegations. Plaintiffs must do more than allege conclusions. Rather, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’ ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. The Second Amended Complaint does not meet Twombly and Iqbal’s baseline standard of specifics.
So is the claim that, “Upon information and belief, a substantial portion of the approximately 1.5 million absentee and mail votes in Defendant Counties should not have been counted.” Id. ¶¶ 168, 194, 223, 253. “Upon information and belief” is a lawyerly way of saying that the Campaign does not know that something is a fact but just suspects it or has heard it. “While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Yet the Campaign offers no specific facts to back up these claims.
A particular issue that arises is how to treat facts alleged based on "information and belief." The Second Circuit has set out what appears to be the developing consensus: "The Twombly plausibility standard … does not prevent a plaintiff from pleading facts alleged 'upon information and belief'  where the facts are peculiarly within the possession and control of the defendant, or  where the belief is based on factual information that makes the inference of culpability plausible." Arista Records, LLC v. Doe 3, __ F.3d __, 2010 WL 1729107, *8 (2d Cir.). Thus, the "information and belief" label is a signal to consider whether the plaintiff has met one of these requirements. A paradigm for the first is when a case turns on the content of records of the defendant. Where a fact is truly within the defendant's exclusive possession, a court may be less likely to find a claim implausible for not alleging that fact. When the second requirement is at issue, it is worthwhile to consider whether the plaintiff has pleaded any of the factual information on which it purports to base its "information and belief" allegation. In either case, plaintiffs still must allege enough underlying facts to allow a plausible inference of liability in the context of their particular claim. Twombly itself confirms this, given that the complaint alleged an antitrust conspiracy based on information and belief, but failed because it did not support that allegation with sufficient subsidiary factual allegations. [..]
3. Assess plausibility. After identifying the allegations not entitled to an assumption of truth, a defendant must show that the real factual allegations that remain have not "nudged [the] claims … across the line from conceivable to plausible." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1951. Iqbal, following Twombly, adds that assessing the plausibility of a claim is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.
The Washington Post surveyed all 249 Republicans in the House and Senate beginning [Dec 3rd] the morning after Trump posted a 46-minute video in which he wrongly claimed he had defeated Biden and leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations of “corrupt forces” who stole the outcome from the sitting president. Attorney General William P. Barr said the Justice Department found no evidence to overturn the election results.
A team of 25 Post reporters contacted aides for every Republican by email and phone asking three basic questions:
Reps. Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (Ala.) are the only Republicans in Congress who have publicly insisted Trump is the winner.
Source: https://twitter.com/bradheath/status/1336119040679555074Wisconsin's response to Sidney Powell's lawsuit points out that the Dominion voting machine she says were part of a big election-rigging plot weren't used in most of the counties she's complaining about, and in the two that did use them, Trump won.
Including an affidavit from the guy behind QAnon remains a puzzling strategic choice, but seems entirely in keeping with the rest of the Kraken litigation.
Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward rebellion against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent toward, or rebellion against, established authority.
-Will this particular suit prevail?Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit Tuesday. The President on Wednesday filed a motion to intervene -- basically a request to join the lawsuit, asking for the same result. Seventeen GOP states are backing the effort as well.
They're asking for the court to block the electors from Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, pushing Biden back under the magic 270-vote total to win.
First the court would have to allow Paxton to file the suit. Then the court would have to block certification of the Electoral College vote, determine that the four states had allowed massive amounts of "illegal" votes, have the states revisit their vote counts and then resubmit the numbers. The court could also, Trump's filing suggests, let state legislatures determine who wins each state or throw the entire election to the US House of Representatives, where each state delegation would have one vote -- and since Republican delegations outnumber Democratic delegations, Trump would win.
Is there any precedent?No
...the President is asking the Supreme Court to exercise its rarest form of jurisdiction to effectively overturn the entire presidential election.
They don't. You can't commit sedition if you're willing to submit to the authority of the highest court of the land.
National polls indicate a large percentage of Americans now have serious doubts about not just the outcome of the presidential contest, but also the future reliability of our election system itself. Amici respectfully aver it is the solemn duty of this Court to provide an objective review of these anomalies and to determine for the people if indeed the Constitution has been followed and the rule of law maintained.
Since Election Day, State and Federal courts throughout the country have been flooded with frivolous lawsuits aimed at disenfranchising large swaths of voters and undermining the legitimacy of the election. The State of Texas has now added its voice to the cacophony of bogus claims. Texas seeks to invalidate elections in four states for yielding results with which it disagrees. Its request for this Court to exercise its original jurisdiction and then anoint Texas’s preferred candidate for President is legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy.
What Texas is doing in this proceeding is to ask this Court to reconsider a mass of baseless claims about problems with the election that have already been considered, and rejected, by this Court and other courts. It attempts to exploit this Court’s sparingly used original jurisdiction to relitigate those matters. But Texas obviously lacks standing to bring such claims, which, in any event, are barred by laches, and are moot, meritless, and dangerous. Texas has not suffered harm simply be-cause it dislikes the result of the election, and nothing in the text, history, or structure of the Constitution supports Texas’s view that it can dictate the manner in which four other states run their elections. Nor is that view grounded in any precedent from this Court. Texas does not seek to have the Court interpret the Constitution, so much as disregard it.
The cascading series of compounding defects in Texas’s filings is only underscored by the surreal alternate reality that those filings attempt to construct. That alternate reality includes an absurd statistical analysis positing that the probability of President-Elect Biden winning the election was “one in a quadrillion.” Bill of Complaint at 6. Texas’s effort to get this Court to pick the next President has no basis in law or fact. The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and un-mistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated.
I think it's a coup attempt.
The Republicans don't allow investigation if a signature doesn't look right; throw the vote out instead!The unconstitutional “guidance” stated: “The Pennsylvania Election Code does not authorize the county board of elections to set aside returned absentee or mail-in ballots based solely on signature analysis by the county board of elections.”
Deadline extended because USPS was slow? Throw the votes out!The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 9 without any authorization by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, usurped legislative power by extending that deadline to three days after Election Day.
Republicans complain about not being able to throw votes out in Georgia.making it far more difficult to challenge defective signatures beyond the express mandatory procedures
"Processing" means checking the outer envelopes, signatures etc.; not counting. This may lead to voters learning their mail-in vote being rejected and voting in person; that's unconstitutional, say Republicans.In clear violation of the law, the State Election Board — not the legislature — purported to change Georgia law and allow processing of ballots up to three weeks before Election Day.
Can't have people getting their ballots the easy way; must have that administrative overhead, or too many people might vote!Michigan’s Secretary of State [..] set up a website whereby persons could request an absentee ballot without a signature.
Can't have the elections office distribute applications efficiently, that would be unconstitutional, say Republicans.Michigan’s Secretary of State violated Article II of the Constitution when she seized local power granted by the legislature and distributed 7.7 million absentee ballot applications.
Republicans can't have ballots of legitimate voters counted if you could have refused them! (There is no proof of someone who was not an "actual voter" voting.)Election officials in Wayne County, Michigan [..] consciously and systematically refused to follow the inspection and security requirements set by the Michigan Legislature to ensure absentee ballots were cast by actual voters
Putting up drop boxes that aren't explicitly authorized by state law is only ok if the California Republican Party does it unoffically (yes, that really happened).Wisconsin Elections Commission (“WEC”) and other local officials unconstitutionally created “hundreds of drop boxes to collect absentee ballots — including the use of unmanned drop boxes.”
The District of Columbia together with the States and territories of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington (collectively, the “Amici States”) move for leave to file the enclosed brief as amici curiae in support of defendants
I. The Electors Clause Provides No Basis To Second-Guess State Courts And Local Actors In Their Interpretation Of State Law
II. States' Common-Sense Measures Taken In Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic Did Not Introduce Widespread Fraud
Plaintiff makes very few “factual” allegations relating to Michigan, with all allegations of supposed fraud arising from debunked claims about the processing and tabulation of absent voter ballots by the City of Detroit (the “City”) in Hall E of the TCF Center, a convention center in downtown Detroit. Those sparse allegations are derived from three affidavits first submitted in Costantino v. Detroit et al, Wayne County Circuit Case No. 20-014780-AW, by Melissa Carone, Jessy Jacob and Zachary Larsen. The City submits this brief to address those allegations, because, contrary to Plaintiff’s averment that Wayne County processed and tabulated the ballots, the City did so. The City is therefore uniquely able to respond directly to the allegations.
The allegations have already been deemed not credible by the Chief Judge of Michigan’s Third Judicial District and deemed not worthy of injunctive relief by the Michigan Supreme Court in two separate cases. Re-stating the allegations here does not make them any more credible or more worthy of relief.
President Trump prevailed on nearly every historical indicia of success in presidential elections. For example, he won both Florida and Ohio; no candidate in history—Republican or Democrat—has ever lost the election after winning both States.
Why did I even assume that easily checked fact was true? It's false:Trump intervened as well:
President Trump prevailed on nearly every historical indicia of success in presidential elections. For example, he won both Florida and Ohio; no candidate in history—Republican or Democrat—has ever lost the election after winning both States.
No Presidential candidate ever came even close to losing an Election who won Iowa, Florida and Ohio. I won all three, by a lot!
The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.
It should settle the immediate issue of who is the next President. It will do nothing to resolve the underlying issues of outdated Constitutional provisions and practices or an election system that is wide open to causing problems whether real or invented.The Electoral College is due to meet on Monday, hopefully that settles it for good.
Yes. The astonishing aspect for me - British born Australian - is not Trump's incompetent narcissism and gross dishonesty. It is the extent to which for so many Americans party loyalty outweighs honesty. Blatantly obvious in the lawyers and team supporting Trump.I'm afraid, instead, this will be marked in history as a day when the anger deepened. A significant moment of radicalization.
I don't think I'll unclench until count day, because there are still ways to screw around and drag that out for who knows how long. Both chambers have a nuclear option, but those end with the newly chosen Speaker becoming acting president on the 20th, so there's no way to keep Trump in office, but if we get to that point a functioning government isn't a guarantee, either.The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.
That seems to correspond to the first argument in the "blue states" brief.
The Electoral College is due to meet on Monday, hopefully that settles it for good.
It is true this effort to overthrow the 2020 election is not going to bear fruit. And so it is tempting to just work on the other things and to ignore this lawsuit and these attempts; because this time it won't be successful.
But all of this effort, supported by so many mainstream Republicans... it's setting a precedent; and it's creating conditions that could easily overthrow the next election. And if the Republican party just allows for this assault on the 2020 election to continue, no matter whether it ultimately is successful, then by 2022 or 2024... I'm telling you it might be too late to save our democracy.
Again, you cannot commit sedition by going to court!You could argue, with some validity, that these members of Congress were aware that the Texas Suit was a fantasy and they were only committing a fantastic act of sedition.
This is not US law. Treason involves collaborating with an enemy during wartime. I'm using sedition as defined in the US: See The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.Mendel - Calling for armed protest against the election outcome is treason, going to court and submitting to the court's ruling is not. For the same reason, "I'll sue you" isn't legally recognized as a threat anywhere in the world.
You Can Not Do Something Illegal By Going To CourtThe intent is to overthrow a legal election. What do you want to define that as?
I don't think I'll unclench until count day
January 6, 2021: Joint Session of Congress to Count Electoral Votes and Declare Election Results Meets
On January 6, or another date set by law, the Senate and House of Representatives assemble at 1:00 p.m. in a joint session at the Capitol, in the House chamber, to count the electoral votes and declare the results(3 U.S.C. §15). The Vice President presides as President of the Senate. The Vice President opens the certificates and presents them to four tellers, two from each chamber. The tellers read and make a list of the returns. When the votes have been ascertained and counted, the tellers transmit them to the Vice President. If one of the tickets has received a majority of 270 or more electoral votes, the Vice President announces the results, which “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President."
Joint Session Challenges to Electoral Vote Returns
While the tellers announce the results, Members may object to the returns from any individual state as they are announced. Objections to individual state returns must be made in writing by at least one Member each of the Senate and House of Representatives. If an objection meets these requirements, the joint session recesses and the two houses separate and debate the question in their respective chambers for a maximum of two hours. The two houses then vote separately to accept or reject the objection. They then reassemble in joint session, and announce the results of their respective votes. An objection to a state’s electoral vote must be approved by both houses in order for any contested votes to be excluded. For additional information, see CRS Report RL32717, Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session, Including Objections by Members of Congress, coordinated by Elizabeth Rybicki and L. Paige Whitaker.
Agreed. I've been describing it as an "evolutionary process" - downhill - which embeds acceptance of the situation into the US culture.They have signaled that sedition is becoming an acceptable thing. It's a trend. The Ripple Effect is a shared social process - a feedback loop in which each iteration of the cycle reinforces the previous one. Each round makes the idea of open sedition more socially acceptable.
. I'm using sedition as defined in US law.
Seditious Conspiracy and Federal Law: The Basics
The federal law against seditious conspiracy can be found in Title 18 of the U.S. Code (which includes treason, rebellion, and similar offenses), specifically 18 U.S.C. § 2384. According to the statutory definition of sedition, it is a crime for two or more people within the jurisdiction of the United States:
- To conspire to overthrow or destroy by force the government of the United States or to level war against them;
- To oppose by force the authority of the United States government; to prevent, hinder, or delay by force the execution of any law of the United States; or
- To take, seize, or possess by force any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof.
This is divisive "slippery slope" rhetoric, a case that can't be made rationally.
But all of this effort, supported by so many mainstream Republicans... it's setting a precedent; and it's creating conditions that could easily overthrow the next election
See The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.
The Sedition Act and the Alien Friends Act were allowed to expire in 1800 and 1801, respectively.
The Republican minority in Congress complained that the Sedition Act violated the First Amendment to the Constitution, which protected freedom of speech and freedom of the press. But the Federalist majority pushed it through, arguing that English and American courts had long punished seditious libel under common law, and that freedom of speech must be balanced with an individual’s responsibility for false statements.
Adams signed the Sedition Act into law on July 14, 1798. It was set to expire on March 3, 1801, the last day of his term in office.
All told, between 1798 and 1801, U.S. federal courts prosecuted at least 26 individuals under the Sedition Act; many were editors of Republican newspapers, and all opposed the Adams administration. The prosecutions fueled furious debate over the meaning of a free press and the rights that should be afforded to political opposition parties in the United States.
In the end, widespread anger over the Alien and Sedition Acts fueled Jefferson’s victory over Adams in the bitterly contested 1800 presidential election, and their passage is widely considered to be one of the biggest mistakes of Adams’ presidency.
Agreed. I'm trained (not practising) in AU law and not conversant with relvant US Statute law.This is not US law. Treason involves collaborating with an enemy during wartime.
That gives me a starting point for research. Thank you.I'm using sedition as defined in the US: See The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.
In those acts, sedition includes "[to] print, utter, or publish . . . any false, scandalous, and malicious writing." The Texas suit published all of those things.
I've taken that fact as my starting point. "Why are Trump et al not being criminally indicted with something like conspiracy to overthrow the election?" And the related cultural question "Why are uS people so tolerant of para-criminal dishonesty surrounding the election process?"The intent is to overthrow a legal election.
Because it's politically impossible. He would have to be indicted by the House of Representatives (impeached) and then tried by the Senate. The Senate is controlled by the Republicans. Not only is it time consuming, it's futile. We already went through the process.Agreed. I'm trained (not practising) in AU law and not conversant with relvant US Statute law.
That gives me a starting point for research. Thank you.
I've taken that fact as my starting point. "Why are Trump et al not being criminally indicted with something like conspiracy to overthrow the election?" And the related cultural question "Why are uS people so tolerant of para-criminal dishonesty surrounding the election process?"
I recognised that it is not treason but haven't confirmed what is relevant statute. Yet. I'll take your reference as prima facie where to look.
Yes. I'm aware of the broad historic issues and the evolution of the constitutional practices. As I see it the debate is mostly about working within the limitations imposed by current systems. In my opinion those systems and related aspects of the constitution are past their "use by date". Leave the detils aside for now but take two examples:Because it's politically impossible. He would have to be indicted by the House of Representatives (impeached) and then tried by the Senate. The Senate is controlled by the Republicans. Not only is it time consuming, it's futile. We already went through the process.
Because it's politically impossible. ..... The Senate is controlled by the Republicans. Not only is it time consuming, it's futile. We already went through the process.
As one "non-American" - thanks for the summary. I'm reasonbly familiar with the history as it impacted on the evolution of the practical application of the Constitution. I'm Australian, career qualification in engineering but in my 60s I took a degree in law. Then my involvement in on-line discusion gave me an interest in US Constitutional law.Let me explain something to our non-American friends.
This is a cultural fight that goes back to the earliest days.