In a press release from VoterGa on Thursday, we learned the Georgia Supreme Court has issued a ruling that will impact at least one major election challenge in Georgia and potentially others throughout the United States. The timing of this decision is significant: there is only 8 days remaining before Georgia State law will allow for the destruction of 2020 election evidence.
The case that may be impacted is Favorito et al v. Cooney et al. This case was dismissed on Oct. 13, 2021 by Judge Brian Amero using the aforementioned case, as well as Wood v Raffensperger. Judge Amero stated the following in his Order Granting Motion to Dismiss:
“Petitioners lack standing to pursue their state equal protection and state due process claims. Under both federal and Georgia law, the three requirements plaintiffs ‘must meet to have standing are “(1) an injury in fact; (2) a causal connection between the injury
and the causal conduct; and (3) the likelihood that the injury will be redressed with a favorable decision.” (Sons of Confederate Veterans, 2021)
“Petitioners have failed to allege a particular injury. An injury is particularized when it ‘affects the plaintiff in a personal and individual way.‘” (Wood v. Raffensperger, 11th Circuit, 2020)
At the time, the former was the opinion of the Georgia Court of Appeals. But yesterday, the Georgia Supreme Court heard the Sons of Confederate Veterans case and opined:
“Because the Georgia Constitution is the source of the judicial power of state courts, federal standing requirements do not control our analysis.“
This is a significant blow to the precedent used to dismiss Favorito’s case back in October 2021 where Judge Amero cited the Appeals decision that implied federal and state law defined the requirements for a plaintiff to bring a case. The Georgia Supreme Court has determined the state requirements are not necessarily subject to the federal requirements because state law is subject to the Georgia Constitution.
In the Supreme Court decision, Justice Peterson opined that “a plaintiff must have cognizable injury that can be redressed by a judicial decision.” However, Justice Peterson goes on to state that the injury does not need to be individualized (as Judge Amero cited in his dismissal):
Courts are not vehicles for engaging in merely
academic debates or deciding purely theoretical questions. We “say
what the law is” only as needed to resolve an actual controversy. To
that end, only plaintiffs with a cognizable injury can bring a suit in
Georgia courts. Unlike federal law, however, that injury need not
always be individualized; sometimes it can be a generalized
grievance shared by community members, especially other
residents, taxpayers, voters, or citizens.
It goes on to state:
When a local government owes a legal duty to its citizens, residents, taxpayers, or
voters (i.e., community stakeholders), the violation of that legal duty
constitutes an injury that our case law has recognized as conferring
standing to those community stakeholders, even if the plaintiff at
issue suffered no individualized injury
In the October 2021 dismissal of Favorito’s case, Judge Amero also stated that “Petitioners have failed to allege a particularized injury.” Remember, Judge Amero cited Wood v. Raffensperger from the 11th Circuit Court that stated:
“An injury is particularized when it ‘affects the plaintiff in a personal and individual way.'”
This opinion should have a substantial impact on the Favorito et al v Wan case that is pending writ of certiorari before the Supreme Court. From a Press Release published by VoterGA:
It confirms arguments made by Petitioners in the Fulton County counterfeit ballot case known as Favorito et
al, v. Wan et al. That case, originally entitled Favorito et al, v. Cooney et al was dismissed after 10 months of
hearings for lack of standing. The dismissal came after the county hired criminal defense attorneys to prevent
petitioners from inspecting ballots.
The two citations given to dismiss Favorito’s case have now been addressed in a separate ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court. It is imperative that the evidence from the 2020 election is preserved immediately with a lingering state mandate expiring in 8 days calling for the preservation.
Here is the press release by VoterGA.org