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Old 2020-11-28, 01:22   #550
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

23·3·181 Posts
Default Ouch!

The Ruling in the appeal of the dismissal by US District Court Judge Brann of the PA election lawsuit in Federal Court is out.

The unanimous opinion, written by Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Bibas (appointed 2017), began
Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.
And it ended
Voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections. The ballots here are governed by Pennsylvania election law. No federal law requires poll watchers or specifies where they must live or how close they may stand when votes are counted. Nor does federal law govern whether to count ballots with minor state-law defects or let voters cure those defects. Those are all issues of state law, not ones that we can hear. And earlier lawsuits have rejected those claims.

Seeking to turn those state-law claims into federal ones, the Campaign claims discrimination. But its alchemy cannot transmute lead into gold. The Campaign never alleges that any ballot was fraudulent or cast by an illegal voter. It never alleges that any defendant treated the Trump campaign or its votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or its votes. Calling something discrimination does not make it so. The Second Amended Complaint still suffers from these core defects, so granting leave to amend would have been futile.

And there is no basis to grant the unprecedented injunction sought here. First, for the reasons already given, the Campaign is unlikely to succeed on the merits. Second, it shows no irreparable harm, offering specific challenges to many fewer ballots than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory. Third, the Campaign is responsible for its delay and repetitive litigation. Finally, the public interest strongly favors finality, counting every lawful voter's vote, and not disenfranchising millions of Pennsylvania voters who voted by mail.

Plus, discarding those votes could disrupt every other election on the ballot. We will thus affirm the District Court's denial of leave to amend, and we deny an injunction pending appeal. The campaign asked for a very fast briefing schedule, and we have granted its request. Because the Campaign wants us to move as fast as possible, we also deny oral argument. We grant all motions to file overlength responses, to file amicus briefs, and to supplement appendices. We deny all other outstanding motions as moot. This Court's mandate shall issue at once.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2020-11-29 at 00:10 Reason: xinfig posty; insert omitted word "unanimous"
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