HUGE! MI Legislators Vow To Take Case to US Supreme Court Before 2024 Election, After Biden-Appointed Judge Dismisses Suit Arguing Unconstitutional Changes To Election Laws Via Ballot Proposal Funded By George Soros

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Michigan legislators claim that the state government infringed on their constitutional rights when it used ballot initiatives to change election laws.

Eleven Michigan Legislators have vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after U.S. District Court Judge Jane Beckering, a Biden-appointed judge, dismissed their federal lawsuit on April 11, citing a lack of standing.

U.S. District Court Judge Jane Beckering

The lawmakers’ claim, filed Sept. 28, 2023, argues the 2018 and 2022 state constitutional amendments regulating time, place, and manner of federal elections are legally null and void because they usurped the legislators’ constitutionally protected rights.

Plaintiffs include Republican Senators Jonathan Lindsey and Jim Runestad; Republican Representatives Steve Carra, James DeSana, Joseph Fox, Neil Friske, Matt Maddock, Angela Rigas, Joshua Schriver, and Rachelle Smit.

The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 4 (the Elections Clause), requires state legislatures to regulate the times, places, and manner of federal elections. However, the 2018 and 2022 constitutional amendments bypassed the state legislature and, in doing so, infringed on the legislators’ federally mandated constitutional authority.

Representative Steve Carra (R), the House Freedom Caucus leader and a plaintiff in the case, disagreed with the judge’s decision and is optimistic the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case. “If I, as a legislator, don’t have standing to say laws are being passed without legislature approval, then who does? The Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution protects legislative authority to determine the times, places, and manner of elections.”

MI State Rep. Steve Carra (R)

State Senator Jonathan Lindsey (R), also a plaintiff, concurred with Carra. “I disagree with the judge’s decision to deny my right as a legislator to protect the role granted to me by the U.S. Constitution. When a federal judge misuses their power by denying a valid case to be heard, it damages our entire body politic. I look forward to appealing this decision.”

MI Senator Jonathan Lindsey (R)

Carra explained that the Founding Fathers feared the government would devolve into authoritarian rule. They wrote both the Elections Clause and the Electors Clause in Articles I and II of the Constitution of the United States, “specifically to put the power to protect elections in the hands of We the People through their locally elected state legislators.”

Erick Kaardal, who built his 30-year career based on suing the government for working people, explained, “Under the US Constitution’s Elections Clause, individual state legislators—not the group—have the federal right to vote on election laws subject to Congressionally-enacted laws. That power is supreme under the US Constitution. When those federal rights are violated by executive branch officials or otherwise, recourse to federal courts is necessary to protect the individual state legislators’ federal rights. The US District Court decision exclusively gives the Attorney General or the State legislature the right to sue. But reading the text of the Elections Clause shows the individual state legislators can sue too.” Kaardal, a partner in Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A., is representing the case, along with Attorneys David A. Kallman and Stephen P. Kallman of the Great Lakes Justice Center.

Erick Kaardal

State Senator Jim Runestad (R), a plaintiff in the case, emphasized the urgency of the Supreme Court’s ruling before the next election, saying, “It is extremely important to have these constitutional questions adjudicated as rapidly as possible. I am a firm believer in the Constitution. The people have a right to have this issue decided in a court of law, so everyone can have confidence that we are preserving civil rights and obeying the Constitution.”

MI Senator Jim Runstead (R)

The lawsuit (Case No. 1:23-cv-1025) was heard in the U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, Southern Division, and names as defendants Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Jonathan Brater, Bureau of Elections.

On Tuesday Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that felony charges would be brought against 16 Michigan residents for their actions after the 2020 general election.
MI Democrat AG Dana Nessel
MI Dem Gov. Whitmer
MI SOS Jocelyn Benson (D) and MI Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater

At issue are constitutional amendments that ushered in the most dramatic changes to Michigan’s election laws in a decade.

The non-legislatively adopted provisions allow same-day voter registrations without valid proof of identity, nine to 29 days of early in-person voting, private funding of election administration, and no-excuse absentee voting procedures. The adopted ballot proposals also changed in-person voting procedures and canvasser authority and created an independent redistricting commission.

Carra maintains the amendment process was abused and “weaponized millions of dollars from out of state against the voting public of Michigan using deceptive tactics.” According to Ballotpedia, of the total $31.7 million spent to promote Proposal 2 in 2022, $23.6 million, 74% was from out of state. About half, $11.3 million, poured in from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)4 nonprofit based in Washington D.C. The George Soros Open Society Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in New York, accounted for $1.2 million.

In addition to hoping the Supreme Court will take the case and rule that the election amendments must be rescinded from the state constitution, Carra recommends that the legislature rescind all the laws it passed in order to implement the unlawfully enacted constitutional amendments. “The sheer fact that codifying into state law what was passed in an amendment by petition process carries far less political ramifications than enacting new statutes,” he said.

MI Lawmakers

Attorney Erick Kaardal, a partner of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A., specializes in suing the government to improve it on behalf of working people. Throughout his three-decade career, Kaardal has overseen more than 1,000 cases and specializes in constitutional and appellate law. He has achieved 63 election integrity lawfare successes, including two U.S. Supreme Court victories. He graduated from Harvard and earned his law degree at the University of Chicago Law School.

Michigan Fair Elections is sponsoring the lawsuit and is a Michigan-based, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Its local task forces are dedicated to restoring fair and honest elections through education, local citizen participation in elections, and litigation. MFE continues to remain at the forefront of defending the U.S. Constitution and election integrity through education and counter-lawfare.

 

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