LANSING — U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of the D.C. District Court has denied plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in a case geared at overturning results of November’s presidential election.
Boasberg’s opinion on the Wisconsin Voters Alliance et al. v. Vice President Michael R. Pence et al. said that “the plaintiffs have established no likelihood of success on the merits here.”
“Plaintiffs’ aims in this election challenge are bold indeed,” the opinion said. “They ask this court to declare unconstitutional several decades-old federal statutes governing the appointment of electors and the counting of electoral votes for president of the United States; to invalidate multiple state statutes regulating the certification of presidential votes; to ignore certain Supreme Court decisions; and, the coup de grace, to enjoin the U.S. Congress from counting the electoral votes on January 6, 2021, and declaring Joseph R. Biden the next president.”
Voter groups and individual voters from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona brought the action against Pence in his capacity as president of the U.S. Senate, both Houses of Congress, and the Electoral College itself.
At the time of filing the complaint, the plaintiffs also moved for a preliminary injunction that would have blocked the certifying of the electors from the five states and the counting of their electoral votes.
“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’s opinion said. “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.”
Boasberg also said that the court has directed the plaintiffs to file proofs of service, which they failed to do.
“Yet even that may be letting plaintiffs off the hook too lightly,” Boasberg’s opinion said. “Their failure to make any effort to serve or formally notify any defendant — even after reminder by the court in its minute order — renders it difficult to believe that the suit is meant seriously. Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures. 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.”