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Courts hand Trump more losses as attempts to upend election results collapse

The quartet of decisions are the latest losses in court for President Donald Trump’s campaign and his backers as they try to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election win last month. Dozens of lawsuits have been dismissed at the state and federal levels in states across the country since the push to overturn the vote began in November.

Trump has yet to concede the race, though he has alluded on occasion to no longer being in office next year.

In Michigan, judges from the state’s Court of Claims ruled 2-1 against the Trump campaign, saying its request to challenge election results is “moot” because the State Board of Canvassers has already certified the results. The judges added that the campaign missed its window to call for a recount, which was the only legal remedy it could have pursued.

The court criticized the campaign for not correcting issues with its initial November 6 filing until 11:21 p.m. on November 30. The Wayne County Board of Canvassers certified the results of its election on November 17, and the State Board of Canvassers certified the election on November 23.

“Because plaintiff failed to follow the clear law in Michigan relative to such matters, their action is moot,” the judges wrote.

Biden won the state by more than 154,000 votes, and there has been no evidence of fraud in the election.

Every court case filed by Trump or his orbit in Michigan has been lost or withdrawn. Rudy Giuliani took his parade of misinformation and false claims about the election to the Michigan House Oversight Committee earlier this week, where he did not testify under oath and brought forward witnesses who made recycled, previously disproven claims about the election.

Nevada

District Judge James Russell rejected a Republican attempt to declare Trump the winner of Nevada’s electoral votes.

One day after a lengthy evidentiary hearing, Russell wrote that “contestant did not prove under any standard of proof” a long list of accusations against the Biden-Harris campaign, including paying voters to cast ballots. He denied the request to replace Democratic electors with Republican ones.

“While we appreciate the court’s consideration of evidence submitted, we disagree with the dismissal of the contest,” a Nevada Republican Party spokesperson said in a statement. “The case and evidence we presented was compelling and overwhelming. President Donald J. Trump’s Nevada Elector’s will immediately appeal this denial to the Nevada Supreme Court. The fight continues for clean and fair elections.”

Arizona

A state court late Friday dismissed a lawsuit seeking to either void Biden’s win in Arizona or force another recount.

In a brief order, State Superior Court Judge Randall Warren said the plaintiffs had failed to prove fraud, misconduct, illegal votes or an erroneous count.

The plaintiff — Kelli Ward, the state’s Republican Party chair and a Trump presidential elector — said before Warren’s ruling that she would appeal any adverse outcome to the Arizona Supreme Court. This is the fifth election-related suit brought by Trump allies to be dismissed or dropped in state court in Arizona since the election.

In recent weeks, Ward has relentlessly promoted a wide range of baseless election conspiracy theories on social media and in public statements. Her suit, filed against the 11 Biden electors, alleged that errors in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous and home to Phoenix, had cost Trump enough votes to potentially alter the result. The suit focused on alleged issues with verifying voters’ signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes and claims that votes had been flipped in the duplication of ballots that couldn’t be read by tabulation machines.

But during a two-day trial that included reexamining 1,626 duplicated or signature-verified mail-in ballots, officials found a total of nine errors that would have cost Trump a net of six votes. State elections officials and their attorneys said extrapolating that error rate to the 27,859 duplicated ballots in Maricopa County would potentially mean Trump could have lost roughly 100 votes — nowhere near enough to make any difference, given that Biden won Arizona by a margin of 10,457 votes.

Seven GOP election observers raised allegations of machines or software flipping votes, or of other errors, in their testimony. But elections officials testified that the alleged errors largely would have been addressed during the process of verifying the votes.

Attorney Marc Elias, representing the Biden electors, argued that the plaintiffs provided “no evidence about misconduct, no evidence about fraud, no evidence about illegal votes.” He said the “garden-variety errors” they described “don’t come anywhere near showing the results should be overturned.”

“Joe Biden won this election,” Elias said. ‘Nothing you heard over the last two days … could plausibly change that.”

Wisconsin

For the second day in a row, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 against a lawsuit attempting to invalidate the results of the state’s presidential election.

The latest comes from the Wisconsin Voters Alliance alleging “material violations of Wisconsin law” by state elections officials and asking the court to prevent certification of the election by the Wisconsin Elections Commission so the “state legislature can lawfully appoint the electors.”

As part of the concurring opinion, Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote they were being asked to perform an “unprecedented” task, opining, “We are invited to invalidate the entire presidential election in Wisconsin by declaring it ‘null’ — yes, the whole thing. And there’s more. We should, we are told, enjoin the Wisconsin Elections Commission from certifying the election so that Wisconsin’s presidential electors can be chosen by the legislature instead, and then compel the Governor to certify those electors.”

He continued, “Once the door is opened to judicial invalidation of presidential election results, it will be awfully hard to close that door again. This is a dangerous path we are being asked to tread. The loss of public trust in our constitutional order resulting from the exercise of this kind of judicial power would be incalculable.”

Chief Justice Patience Roggensack dissented, writing, “This is the third time that a majority of this court has turned its back on pleas from the public to address a matter of statewide concern that requires a declaration of what the statutes require for absentee voting.”

On Thursday, the court had declined to hear a lawsuit filed by Trump seeking to remove more than 221,000 votes from Wisconsin’s certified presidential election vote total.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, certified the results of the presidential election on November 30, granting Biden the state’s 10 electoral votes.

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