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Lawyers Who Brought Case to Overturn 2020 Michigan Election Refuse to Be Accountable

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit last week rejected a motion by lawyers asking the court to strike down sanctions against them after they tried to overturn the 2020 election in Michigan.

Six plaintiffs, including three Republican voters and three Michigan electors who were selected to cast votes for their state in the Electoral College, filed a lawsuit on November 25, 2020 seeking to decertify the results of the presidential election. They claimed that “hundreds of thousands of illegal, ineligible, duplicate or purely fictitious votes” were cast.

Less than two weeks after the lawsuit was filed, a federal district court dismissed the case, ending one of 65 lawsuits filed by former President Donald Trump and his allies after the 2020 election.

To make matters worse for the plaintiffs, a federal district court, at the request of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), and the city of Detroit, imposed sanctions on their lawyers in August 2021.

In its 110-page opinion, the court said that “This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial system” and that the lawyers misled “a federal court and the American people into believing that rights had been infringed, without regard to if any laws or rights were violated.”

In February 2022, attorneys appealed the decision to the Sixth Circuit, and in June 2023, the court upheld the district court’s sanctions.

Then, in November 2023, lawyers turned to the US Supreme Court for help. They filed a petition asking the judges to overturn the sanctions imposed on them. The Supreme Court denied their request in February, and when lawyers asked the court to rehear the case, the justices also denied that request in April.

Michigan voters and voters’ advocates didn’t stop there. They then went to the Sixth Circuit again in March 2024, asking the federal appeals court to reverse its decision upholding the district court’s sanctions against them, and after the judges denied that request, the attorneys filed another in May.

The justices rejected his most recent request Thursday, ruling that “as sanctioned attorneys continue to file baseless motions,” they are no longer allowed to make submissions to the court unless the court approves them.

Now, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is demanding payment from the sanctioned attorneys.

“Any attorney who knowingly makes false claims in court undermines the rule of law,” Nessel said in a statement. “The attorneys involved in this meritless election lawsuit betrayed their professional obligations, and this stunt is just their latest attempt to evade the penalties they owe the State of Michigan. “I am glad that the Court has rejected this frivolous attempt to evade justice.”

Four years later, even as the 2024 election approaches, Republicans still do not want to take responsibility for their harmful actions in the fight to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Read the order here.

Read more about the case here.