Attorneys Who Filed Case To Overturn 2020 Election in Michigan Refuse To Be Held Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week rejected a motion from attorneys asking the court to repeal its sanctions against them after they sought 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 Nov. 25, 2020 seeking to decertify the results of the presidential election. They claimed there were “hundreds of thousands of illegal, ineligible, duplicate or purely fictitious ballots” cast. 

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

To make matters worse for the plaintiffs, a federal district court, at the request of Michigan Gov. 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 attorneys deceived “a federal court and the American people into believing rights were infringed, without regard to whether any laws or rights were violated.” 

In February 2022, the attorneys appealed the decision to the 6th Circuit, and in June 2023, the court upheld the district court’s sanctions.

Then, in November 2023, the attorneys turned to the U.S. Supreme Court for help. They filed a petition, asking the justices to overturn the sanctions imposed on them. The Supreme Court denied their petition in February, and when the attorneys asked the Court to rehear the case, the justices denied that request as well in April.

The Michigan voters and electors’ attorneys did not stop there. They then went to the 6th Circuit again in March 2024, asking the federal appeals court to reverse its decision to uphold the district court’s sanctions against them, and after the judges denied that request, the attorneys filed another one in May.

The judges rejected their most recent request on Thursday, and ruled that “Given that the sanctioned attorneys continue to file meritless motions,” they are not allowed to file pleadings in the court anymore unless approved by the court.

Now, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is seeking 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 sanctions they owe the State of Michigan. I’m glad the Court rejected this frivolous attempt to skirt justice.”

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

Read the order here.

Read more about the case here.