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Lin Wood Misspells His Own Name, Among Other Mistakes, in Bizarre SCOTUS Brief Supporting Ken Paxton


UPDATE: Supreme Court Quells Indicted Texas AG Ken Paxton’s Rebellion Against the 2020 Election Outcome

There he goes again on his own.

Attorney L. Lin Wood filed a bizarre motion with the U.S. Supreme Court late Thursday in an apparent bid to bolster the Lone Star State’s efforts at overturning the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The 57-page document immediately raised eyebrows for various reasons–many of them particularly bewildering to legal observers.

For example, on the third page of the filing (which is the second numbered page), the conservative attorney misspells his own name.

The passage in question reads [emphasis in original]:

WHEREFORE, Amici Curiae, L. Lin Woods, Jr. respectfully request leave to file the attached brief/writ of certiorari of Amici Curiae.

While Wood managed to spell his name correctly on several additional occasions throughout the document, attorneys were still flabbergasted at the oversight in such a high-profile legal filing–much less a filing to the nation’s high court–where certain standards of professionalism, or at least basic typography, are typically expected.

Attorney Mike Dunford lambasted the mishap via Twitter:

“This … I had not considered this as a mistake one could make,” tweeted Fifth Circuit-focused appellate attorney Raffi Melkonian.

“Typos are part of his brand too apparently,” added Case Western Reserve University School of Law Professor Jonathan H. Adler.

But, as Dunford noted in a lengthy thread about the filing, the name issue wasn’t the only problem with Wood’s attempt.

Though largely styled as an effort to vindicate the legal position of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), Wood’s filing is actually something of a two-for-one deal and is officially titled:”Motion For Leave to File Brief as Amici Curiae and Brief – Writ of Certiorari of L. Lin Wood as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs.”

From the filing’s motion for leave:

[T]his brief would be helpful because it addresses an identical issue raised by amici [sic] in his previously filed petition for writ of ceriorari in this court, namely, that the State’s procedures [note: Wood doesn’t state what state he is referring to here but later verbiage suggests he means Pennsylvania] for mail-in voters violates state election law – which in turn is violative of one or more of the federal requirements for elections (i.e., equal protection, due process, and the Electors Clause), which arise under federal law. As set forth in plaintiffs’ brief and complaint, the 2020 election suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities, and specifically in amici‘s [sic] home state of Georgia.

The filing’s proposed amicus brief elaborates:

Similar [to Pennsylvania] usurpation occurred in amici‘s [sic] home state of Georgia, in which the Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, unilaterally abrogated the legislature’s requirement concerning signatures and verification of absentee ballots and thereby set aside or “amended” state law. See Appendix A.

The referenced appendix is actually the longest section of Wood’s tripartite filing; it contains a petition of writ of certiorari in Wood’s going-nowhere lawsuit against Georgia that seeks to overturn the election results there. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently–and somewhat brutally–rejected Wood’s arguments in that case by calling attention to his lack of understanding of constitutional law.

Dunford also noted that Wood doesn’t appear to have actually had his petition for writ of certiorari docketed–and suggested that he may not even be entitled to seek that form of relief from the federal court system at this stage in the lawsuit’s not long for this earth life.

But the truly odd thing about the whole filing is the attempt to piggyback on Paxton’s case:

Another problem with the brief that close readers might have noted is that Wood has serial Latin agreement issues with his repeated use of the term “amici curiae.”

Amicus briefs are holdovers from Latin which have become standard fare legalese by way of staid legal tradition. The phrase amicus curiae translates to “friend of the court” but clearly a court doesn’t actually have friends.

An amicus brief is simply a way for a third party to file any given number of documents in a case that could, in theory, help the judge reach that party’s preferred conclusion. Many legal experts believe the process is being abused at current and many judges are loath to accept amicus briefs.

The plural form of amicus is amici, but Wood repeatedly referred to himself (singular) as amici. Put simply, “amici is” isn’t a thing. That’s like saying “friends is.” So, Wood, compounding his mistakes throughout the filings, incurred a bit of criticism for that mistake as well–decidedly picayune amidst the maelstrom.

[image via Apu Gomes/Getty Images]

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