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National Review

Judge finds fatal error in Trump Campaign’s Pennsylvania case

The federal court dismissed the Pennsylvania lawsuit over the Trump campaign, which disputed the victory of presumed President-elect Joe Biden in the Commonwealth. With this, District Judge Matthew Brann rejected an attempt to file a new complaint during the eleventh hour of the campaign that would have reinstated allegations of election fraud that the Trump campaign had abandoned a few days earlier. (I outlined the lawsuit here and outlined the Trump campaign’s final efforts to change it.) Judge Brann’s 37-page opinion lists a number of reasons for dismissing the case. Most of them are against two individual plaintiffs – against voter complaints – who claimed their votes were wrongly released. In contrast, the court found that the Trump campaign had no right to sue because it had not provided evidence that President Trump was harmed in any recognizable way by the way the election was conducted in Pennsylvania. However, the court found below that the fatal error in the case is what we have repeatedly emphasized: The discrepancy between the alleged damage and the remedy sought. As the judge explained, even if one accepts the dubious assumption that the two voters in question are wrongly denied voting while others were not in a similar situation, proportional relief would be to count their votes. However, this is not the procedure requested. Instead, with the support of the Trump campaign, the two voters went to court to stop Pennsylvania in verifying Monday, under state law, the result of the Commonwealth election, which Biden won by 83,000 votes. Brann objected:> Prohibiting the verification of election results would not restore the voting rights of individual plaintiffs. It would simply deny more than 6.8 million [Pennsylvanians] their voting rights. “The job is measured on the basis of the theory of injury and the specific exemption requested.” It is not “issued gross: The plaintiff’s remedy must be designed to remedy the plaintiff’s specific injury”. Here, the answer to invalidated ballots is that millions more will not be invalidated. [Footnotes omitted.]As detailed on Friday, the case was in a strange posture. By filing the original complaint on November 9, the Trump campaign demanded widespread voting fraud, mainly claiming that Republican pollsters had been given a meaningful opportunity to observe. application of ballot papers. But, as Brann notes (and discussed here), on November 13, the Federal Court of Appeal of the Third District (which is binding on the District Court of Brann) issued its opinion to Secretary of Bognet v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. While not directly related to the campaign issue, Bognet’s argument went far beyond its claims. He responded by modifying the campaign’s complaint, pushing the case to the narrow claim that Trump’s voters had violated their equal rights to protection (and, in derivative terms, the rights to the campaign). allegedly in violation of a skewed procedure: In Biden-friendly counties, postal voters were allowed to correct errors in the ballots they submitted, while voters in Trump-friendly counties were not. Brann rejected this claim, accepting Pennsylvania’s argument that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar encouraged the entire state to cure voting. Thus, the state government was not at fault if not all counties took advantage of this opportunity. However, this is largely the point. Even if the rights of the electorate had been violated, the cure would be to have their votes counted. Instead, as the court found,> Plaintiffs seek to remedy their rejection of votes by invalidating the votes of millions of others. Instead of asking for their votes to be counted, they seek to devalue the scores of other votes, but only for one contest. [i.e., the presidential race, not the other contests down-ballot]. That is simply not how the Constitution works. [Emphasis added.]Moreover: To make the relief sought by the plaintiffs necessary, it would be necessary to invalidate the ballot papers of all persons who voted in Pennsylvania. Since this court does not have the power to deprive a single person of the right to vote by releasing millions of citizens, it cannot grant the immunity sought by the plaintiffs. Brann concluded that the Trump campaign had no opportunity to sue, in a derivative manner, after the damage alleged by the two voters, particularly after the Bognet judgment. He explicitly rejected both of the campaign’s main equal protection complaints: (1) that pollsters were discriminated against in a discriminatory manner on canvas, and (2) that voters were deliberately given the opportunity to correct erroneous votes in counties that the state could favor Bident. In relation to the former, Brann believed that this was not an equal defense issue, as maintained by the Trump campaign. The campaign did not claim that Trump’s observers were treated differently from Biden’s observers. In relation to the latter, Brann concluded that the campaign had misinterpreted Bush v. Gore, and in any event, did not claim that Boockvar’s instructions on healing ballot papers differed from county to county. Most importantly, Brann refuted the Trump campaign’s belated attempt to change it. they lodged a complaint again at the end of last week in order to reinstate the allegations in their original complaint, which were withdrawn last weekend. The court ruled that this “unduly delays the resolution of issues,” given that Monday, Nov. 23, is the deadline for Pennsylvania counties to prove their election results to the state government – a necessary prelude to appointing a voter slate. who casts the votes of the Commonwealth Electoral College. In response to the decision, Trump campaign lawyers issued a statement stating that while they disagreed with the decision of the “Obama-appointed judge,” it was actually a boon to our “strategy to go to the U.S. Supreme Court immediately. It is true that Brannt was appointed by former President Barack Obama, but he is a member of a Republican and federalist society sponsored by the state’s Republican Senator, Pat Toomey. This is a common situation where two senators in a state come from different parties and an administration has to trade in appointments. Trump’s attorneys added that the decision denied them “the opportunity to have our evidence in a ring.” This is an obvious indication of the campaign’s claim that pollsters were not given a meaningful opportunity to observe the canvas, which lawyers said resulted in “682,777 ballots being cast illegally. The campaign did not mention that it excluded this accusation from its original complaint. Brann concluded that the allegation did not recognize an equal need for protection under federal law.The campaign said he would seek an expedited appeal to the Third Circuit – the court just hearing the Bognet case, which appears to be a precedent. withdraws the needs it now wants to renew.In any case, it is clear that the Supreme Court, which has so far refused to make claims in the Pennsylvania Electoral Act related to the 2020 elections, agrees to hear the campaign, even assuming the Third Round filed an expedited appeal and, as the campaign clearly expects, campaign against.