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Michigan Judge Denies Injunction, Finding Trump Supporters’ Conspiracy Theories Lacking in Detroit


The chief judge of Michigan’s Third Judicial Circuit rejected an injunction sought by President Donald Trump’s supporters on Friday, finding little substance in the hodgepodge of complaints and theories brought by two poll watchers alleging electoral improprieties in Detroit.

“Plaintiffs are unable to meet their burden for the relief sought,” Judge Timothy Kenny wrote in a 13-page ruling.

“It would be an unprecedented exercise of judicial activism for this Court to stop the certification process of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers,” Kenny continued. “The Court cannot defy a legislatively crafted process, substitute its judgment for that of the Legislature, and appoint an independent auditor because of an unwieldy process. In addition to being an unwarranted intrusion on the authority of the Legislature, such an audit would require the rest of the County and State to wait on the results.”

Poll watchers Cheryl A. Constantino and Edward P. McCall, Jr. had complained about a supposed lack of transparency, which their attorney David Kallman minimized during this past week’s hearing as the result of “so-called COVID regulations, whatever those are.”

Fending off a bunch of lawsuits alleging airy election conspiracies David Fink, the attorney for the city of Detroit, Michigan, feel a bit like actor Bill Murray in the existential comedy classic about a news anchor forced to relive one absurd holiday over and over again.

“It’s starting to feel a little bit like ‘Groundhog Day,'” he said in a hearing on Wednesday. “But unlike ‘Groundhog Day,’ this isn’t funny at all.”

Fink, together with attorneys for Wayne County and local Democrats, emphasized during this week’s arguments that the stream of lawsuits attempt to shoehorn evidence into the pre-existing conclusion that would please their candidate.

“They are searching everywhere they can for validation of the conspiracy theories that they have,” Fink said.

Judge Kenny also found the theories as lacking as he found their timing suspect.

“No formal challenges were filed,” Kenny noted. “However, sinister, fraudulent motives were ascribed to the process and the City of Detroit. Plaintiffs’ interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible.”

According to election officials, some of these suppositions stem from the challenger’s ignorance of how the process works. One rumor imagines a sinister plot behind computer entries for voter information reflecting birth dates of “Jan. 1, 1900,” making such voters 120 years old. The city’s attorneys noted that choosing such an implausible voter age would be a ludicrous way to execute a fraud, explaining that the date is nothing more than a placeholder in the system.

Fink also noted the irony of these voter-fraud allegations landing in the Michigan in 2020, when Trump gleaned some 5,000 more votes than he got some four years ago during the race against Hillary Clinton. The outgoing president’s campaign would have the court believe that an elaborate anti-Trump plot had been in full swing in Michigan during the year he performed more strongly.

The judge also laid waste to the internet rumor that the company Dominion Voting Services tried to rig the election for President-elect Joe Biden electronically, a baseless theory that entered into the court record via its contractor, Republican Melissa Carone.

“Ms. Carone’s description of the events at the TCF Center does not square with any of the other affidavits,” Judge Kenny found. “There are no other reports of lost data, or tabulating machines that jammed repeatedly every hour during the count. Neither Republican nor Democratic challengers nor city officials substantiate her version of events. The allegations simply are not credible.”

The notion that Dominion’s voting machines deleted Trump’s votes has been debunked by every election official and credible news outlet that has examined it—but is a popular narrative on the fringe-right One America Network.

[Image via Local 4 screengrab]

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."