Conservative Lawyer Sanctioned in Election Challenge Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Minnesota lawyer Susan Shogren Smith was sanctioned $10,000 last Friday after a judge ruled that she had filed five election complaints without the knowledge or consent of the stated plaintiffs. Shogren Smith filed the fraudulent suits against the Minnesota secretary of state, as well as all four Democratic House candidates who had won their elections, as part of ongoing attempts last year by her conservative group MN Election Integrity Team to stop the certification of the election. 

The five cases were closed when a judge ruled against Shogren Smith last December. But earlier this year, some of the 14 voters listed by Smith as plaintiffs in the case came forward to say that they had no knowledge that their names had been included in the litigation and that Smith had never communicated with them before using their names in the suit. The voters’ names were sourced by Shogren Smith via an anonymous email asking “disgruntled voters” to sign their names — on what later turned out to be an affidavit joining the suit to contest Minnesota’s election results. 

Shogren Smith will have to pay a $10,000 sanction for defrauding the plaintiffs and the court, said Judge Leonardo Castro last Friday. The MN Election Integrity Team will also need to cover the fees that the unknowing plaintiffs were ordered to pay at the close of the five cases back in December — a decision that was never communicated to them by Smith.  

Read the full case history of these election contests here.