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Federal Judge Orders Lawyer Who Sued VP Pence to Explain Why He Shouldn’t Be Referred to Committee on Grievances


Judge Boasberg

A federal judge in Wisconsin on Thursday ordered the attorney responsible for suing Vice President Mike Pence in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election to explain why they he shouldn’t report them to the Committee on Grievances for substantive and procedural ineptitude.

U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg, an appointee of Barack Obama, issued a minute order following the voluntary dismissal of a case that one legal commentator referred to as “the single dumbest election lawsuit of the entire cycle.”

“As Plaintiffs’ Notice of Voluntary Dismissal has now terminated the litigation, the Court ORDERS that by January 22, 2021, Plaintiffs’ counsel shall show cause why the Court should not refer him to the Committee on Grievances for all of the reasons discussed in its recent Memorandum Opinion,” the order said.

The U.S. District Court Committee on Grievances explains its role as follows:

The Committee on Grievances is charged with receiving, investigating, considering and acting upon complaints against all attorneys subject to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Local Rules, LCvR 83.12(b) relating to disbarment, suspension, censure, reprimand or other disciplinary action, and petitions for reinstatement of attorneys.

All proceedings before the Committee involving allegations of misconduct of an attorney and all documents and charges presented to the Committee shall remain confidential and privileged. All formal charges prepared by the Committee and directed to be filed by the Court, attorney or grievance cases filed with the Clerk of the Court, court orders, and subsequent pleadings, answers or responses filed therein shall be matters of public records.

Boasberg pulled no punches in the aforementioned opinion, issued Monday, pointing out the unnecessary emphasis that attorney Erick G. Kaardal put on alleging voter fraud, despite such fraud not being charged in relation to the lawsuit.

“In addition to being filed on behalf of Plaintiffs without standing and (at least as to the state Defendants) in the wrong court and with no effort to even serve their adversaries, the suit rests on a fundamental and obvious misreading of the Constitution. It would be risible were its target not so grave: the undermining of a democratic election for President of the United States. The Court will deny the Motion,” Judge Boasberg began. “To say that Plaintiff’s 116-page Complaint, replete with 310 footnotes, prolix would be a gross understatement. After explicitly disclaiming any theory of fraud, Plaintiffs spend scores of pages cataloguing every conceivable discrepancy or irregularity in the 2020 vote in the five relevant states, already debunked or not, most of which they nonetheless describe as a species of fraud.”

This suit against Pence was distinct from the Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) suit championed by Sidney Powell, which the Supreme Court rejected on Thursday.

Kaardal was identified in the suit as Special Counsel for Amistad Project of Thomas More Society. His Twitter bio refers to him as a “Populist attorney who has made career suing the government.” He is a partner at Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A., a firm whose offices are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The lawsuit named 19 defendants, including Vice President Mike Pence, both chambers of Congress and “the Electoral College.” The lattermost caused quite a stir amid the legal community, as the Electoral College isn’t actually an entity you can sue.

Boasberg also pointed out that Kaardal failed to “make any effort to serve or formally notify any Defendant — even after reminder by the Court in its Minute Order,” which he said made it “difficult to believe that the suit is meant seriously.”

The judge concluded the opinion with a threat, saying that when the case wrapped up he would decide “whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs’ counsel.”

Kaardal’s law firm bio notes that he is admitted to practice in the D.C. District Courts. Law&Crime reached out to Kaardal for comment after Boasberg issued his written opinion days ago. We have not heard back.

[image via YouTube screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.