MAGA-adjacent attorney Sidney Powell just got her Michigan Kraken lawsuit docketed with the U.S. Supreme Court, which, as we saw with the Texas Attorney General’s lawsuit, is no guarantee that this case (or any of the other ones) will be heard.
The latest effort from Powell is about what one might come to expect from the former “elite strike force” member given recent events.
“The multifaceted schemes and artifices to defraud implemented by [the State of Michigan] and their collaborators resulted in the unlawful counting, or outright manufacturing, of hundreds of thousands of illegal, ineligible, duplicate, or purely fictitious ballots in Michigan,” the filing begins, repeating the same allegations that were resoundingly rejected in lower courts across several states. “The same pattern of election fraud and vote-counting fraud writ large occurred in all the swing states with only minor variations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Wisconsin.”
Powell also makes the mathematically suspect argument that President-elect Joe Biden only won the Wolverine State with “a slim margin of 146,000 votes.” Other interesting aspects abound.
In a lengthy and all-caps summary of her petition for writ of certiorari, Powell and her co-counsel twice reference the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution–which generally prohibits federal courts from hearing lawsuits against states brought by citizens of other states–but spells the numerical word incorrectly.
From the petition [emphasis added]:
Whether the District Court Erred When It Dismissed the Petitioners Emergency Motion and Request for Preliminary Injunction When the Court Held That the Petitioners State Law Claims Against Respondents Were Barred by Elementh Amendment Immunity?
The District Court Erred When It Dismissed the Petitioners Emergency Motion and Request for Preliminary Injunction When the Court Held That The Petitioners State Law Claims Against Respondents Were Barred by Elementh Amendment Immunity.
Powell’s typographical errors–and the (atypical for a high-profile attorney) inattention to detail and precision those errors reflect–have been a consistent refrain in her legal filings on behalf of allegedly aggrieved parties who have claimed massive voter and electoral fraud during the 2020 general election in various states. You might say that, in that regard, the filing did not contain the elementh of surprise. Multiple attorneys and legal observers of various stripes have raked the sloppy filings and their author over the coals of Twitter ad nauseum.
But, more importantly, even as Powell’s efforts have failed upward they have mostly gotten her nowhere. And those efforts have also incited the ire or her opponents.
Late Tuesday, the City of Detroit moved for a hefty suite of sanctions against Powell and her team over their flailing and overwrought claims of fraud–none of which, to date, have been supported with an iota of reliable evidence in court.
In their motion for sanctions, the Motor City asked a federal judge to fine the entire team of Kraken lawyers, ban them from ever practicing in the Eastern District of Michigan court system and to refer each of them to the State Bar of Michigan.
“This abuse of the legal process at the expense of states should not go unpunished,” Detroit lawyer David Fink told Law&Crime’s Adam Klasfeld.
Powell, for her part, appeared to suggest that this move from Detroit indicated she was getting closer to victory.
“We are clearly over the target,” she told Law&Crime.
But while that tempest in the larger teapot where the Kraken lives plays out, Powell can at least claim, for fundraising purposes, that she’s put herself in position to get in position with the nation’s high court by having the case (finally) docketed after several days of claiming that she had several such cases lined up and ready to be dispensed by the nine justices.
Notably, mere docketing does not mean the Supreme Court will actually hear the case–as allegedly corrupt and actually indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and his stalwart supporters recently learned the hard way after (again) days of claiming that a decision on the merits was an in-process, foregone conclusion. Fans of President Donald Trump were almost literally beside themselves with anger, outrage and fury when this fact was pointed out--coping with their denial by lashing out at journalists and legal experts who sought to correct the record about how the court actually works.
All of this to say: Powell’s suit is exceedingly unlikely to be taken up by the court simply because her legal arguments are not very good.
Here’s an example of the substance contained in the petition:
Petitioners seek review of the district court’s order denying any meaningful consideration of credible allegations of massive election fraud, multiple violations of the Michigan Election Code…and Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution that occurred during the 2020 general election throughout the State of Michigan. Petitioners presented substantial evidence consisting of sworn declarations of dozens of eyewitnesses and of experts identifying statistical anomalies and mathematical impossibilities, as well as a multistate, [sic] conspiracy, facilitated by foreign actors, including China and Iran, designed to deprive Petitioners to their rights to a fair and lawful election. The district court ignored it all. It failed to hear from a single witness or consider any expert and made findings without any examination of the record.
A recent vintage conspiracy theory also makes the grade:
The election software and hardware from Dominion Voting Systems (“Dominion”) used by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers was created to achieve election fraud. Redacted Declaration of Dominion Venezuela Whistleblower (“Dominion Whistleblower Report”). The Dominion systems derive from the software designed by Smartmatic Corporation, which became Sequoia in the United States.
And apparently the twain shall, in fact, meet:
Foreign actors interfered in this election. As explained in the accompanying redacted declaration of a former electronic intelligence analyst who served in the 305th Military Intelligence Unit with experience gathering SAM missile system electronic intelligence, the Dominion software was accessed by agents acting on behalf of China and Iran in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent U.S. general election in 2020.
So, in sum, Powell’s long-pilloried conspiracy theory about Venezuela’s long dead leader Hugo Chavez wreaking havoc on American elections from beyond the grave—somehow working to meddle on behalf of the Democratic Party’s presidential standard-bearer (but apparently not the Democratic Party’s more progressive slate of U.S. Senate and House candidates)—is now part and parcel of a scheme that includes the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People’s Republic of China. It’s a dizzying collection of theories but, for now, it pays the bills.
Powell also filed a supplementary brief that leans heavily into the error-filled analysis of one Russell Ramsland, a Texas man who previously confused Minnesota for Michigan in a report that purports to show how voting equipment used in Antrim County, Michigan somehow facilitated electoral fraud.
All of the 19 voting precincts cited in Ramsland’s original affidavit were in Minnesota–not Michigan. Ramsland also inaccurately stated Detroit’s voter turnout rate, confidently asserting it was nearly three times higher than it actually was.
“Oftentimes, a party will hire an expert witness to support the conclusion that the party wants or needs to reach. It’s why we give the other parties in a lawsuit a chance to depose the expert and challenge their qualifications in court,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said earlier this week–dismissing the report. “Anyone can have an opinion, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the opinion is based on fact or science.”
Trump recently gushed about the release of said report on Twitter; saying Ramsland’s work “shows massive fraud” and that it would be an “[e]lection changing result” if pursued by the courts.
It wouldn’t. But Powell is relying on the report anyway.
Her supplemental brief concludes by urging the court to do what the “ghosts” buried on the other side of the Potomac River would have wanted [emphasis in original]:
In an earlier generation, Mr. Dooley remarked that the court follows the election returns. Were it to do so now, the court would first have to decide whether it could trust the returns. Allowing a fraudulent result to be enforced would threaten the legitimacy of two branches of the federal government, not just one. The court is called to its duty by the ghosts entombed on the other side of the Potomac River. Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
[image via Image via Epoch Times/screengrab]
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