Sunday, November 29, 2020

Michigan group sues Trump campaign citing disenfranchisement of Black voters

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The lawsuit aimed to halt any efforts by the Trump campaign and the president to push state officials into canceling their ballots or appointing electors who do not represent the election results in their state. It cited numerous efforts to cast doubt on the election, from Trump’s personal tweets to a White House meeting Friday between Republican state lawmakers and Trump.

The plaintiffs included three Black residents of Detroit — Teasha K. Jones, Nicole L. Hill and Maureen Taylor — who voted in this year’s election, as well as the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. The plaintiffs are represented by lawyers from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won Michigan by about 150,000 votes, as well as a handful of other critical swing states that clinched him a majority in the Electoral College. Biden’s lead was particularly notable in Wayne County, where he was ahead of Trump by more than 332,000 votes.

Trump’s legal team has launched a spate of legal challenges and publicly claimed mass fraud in an effort to delegitimize the election results. Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani said at a press conference Thursday that “it changes the result of the election in Michigan, if you take out Wayne County.”

The Trump campaign’s legal challenges in a number of key swing states have been dismissed by judges as meritless. The Trump campaign rescinded its own lawsuit on Thursday challenging the Michigan election results.

Their suit cited two Republican Wayne County officials who declined to certify the election tally Tuesday evening. But the officials did end up certifying the election only hours later.

Lawyers for Detroit asked a judge to strike the campaign’s claims in their withdrawn lawsuit from the record as a sanction for spreading disinformation, Reuters reported Friday.

Trump hosted Republican members of Michigan’s legislature at the White House on Friday in an opaque meeting that appeared to be a last-ditch attempt at swinging the state in his favor.

Trump’s allies have recently floated a legally questionable method to get state lawmakers to appoint friendly electors. But after their White House meeting, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield both asserted they had “not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

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