Federal Judge Suggests Sanctioning Lawyer Seeking to Block Counting of Electoral College Votes

January 4, 2021 Updated: January 4, 2021

A federal judge on Monday suggested sanctioning a lawyer who represented a group seeking to block Congress from counting electoral college votes on Jan. 6.

U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg issued the opinion in response to a lawsuit brought by the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, which argued that state legislatures of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona were prevented from exercising their power under the U.S. Constitution to certify the presidential electors’ votes cast on Dec. 14.

The group claims that a number of federal and state laws had unconstitutionally delegated the authority of state legislatures to certify these votes to state executive branches. It asked the court to invalidate and declare those laws unconstitutional and prevent Vice President Mike Pence, who will be counting the Electoral College votes, and Congress from counting votes from the contested states until their state legislatures are able to meet to certify the votes.

Boasberg rejected the request to block the certification of presidential elector votes for the five states and the counting of those votes on Jan. 6. In his opinion, the judge from Washington D.C. rebuked the plaintiffs and their lawyer for what he believes was a “lack of good faith” in bringing the suit.

“In addition to being filed on behalf of Plaintiffs without standing and (at least as to the state Defendants) in the wrong court and with no effort to even serve their adversaries, the suit rests on a fundamental and obvious misreading of the Constitution,” Boasberg wrote (pdf).

“It would be risible were its target not so grave: the undermining of a democratic election for President of the United States. The Court will deny the Motion.”

He said the plaintiffs were unable to show that they have a legal standing—or legal right—to bring the case and did not explain how his court was able to disregard U.S. Supreme Court precedent on the issues.

“Nor do they ever mention why they have waited until seven weeks after the election to bring this action and seek a preliminary injunction based on purportedly unconstitutional statutes that have existed for decades—since 1948 in the case of the federal ones. It is not a stretch to find a serious lack of good faith here,” he wrote.

The judge also took issue over the plaintiffs’ lawyer failure to formally serve or notify any of the defendants.

“Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures,” he said.

“As a result, at the conclusion of this litigation, the Court will determine whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs’ counsel,” Boasberg added.

The lawyer listed in the case did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

The group argued that Article II of the U.S. Constitution prevents state legislatures from delegating their power to state executive branch officials as a ministerial duty.

“There are textual and structural arguments for these state statutes being unconstitutional,” the group wrote in their lawsuit. They argue that the state laws are an “unconstitutional delegation of the state legislative prerogatives of post-election certifications of Presidential votes and of Presidential electors.”

The lawsuit also argues that state legislatures, many of which were adjourned over Christmas and New Years, are also being prevented from meeting to perform their post-election certification duty. In order to conduct a special legislative session, a supermajority or a governor must agree that legislators should meet. However, the group said the governors from these states are preventing the state legislatures from doing so.

The case is cited as Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Pence (1:20-cv-03791).

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