Thursday, June 24, 2021

Michigan State Senate Debunks Election Conspiracies

The Michigan state senate oversight committee issued a report on the 2020 election in Michigan.

Report on the November 2020 Election in Michigan

The report debunks many common claims of voter fraud and conspiracy theories concerning the 2020 election.  It also identifies some problems with the way the election was administered and suggests some improvements to the election system.  Some highlights of the report include:

  • "This Committee found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election."
  • Most claims of dead people voting were false. "There were two claims of deceased individuals casting votes that were found to be true; one was a clerical error while the other was a timing issue."
  • The false claim by the Voter Integrity Project of "289,866 illegal votes" cast was an extrapolation from a small sample of people who confused absentee ballots with absentee ballot applications.
  • Vote counting in Detroit was a mess, and many involved were confused (including Republican observers), but there is no indication of mass voter fraud.
  • In Antrim County, the initially reported unofficial results were wrong, but the initial tabulator tapes reported correct results.  A hand recount verified that this count was correct.
  • "If the losing party had been so confident of any of these cyber attack theories or software-based vote switching, simply asking for several hand recounts or re-tabulations in the various precincts would have demonstrated a genuine hack had happened and that there was necessity for additional recounts and investigations."
  • An audit was conducted of selected precincts and races in each county in Michigan.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

June 2021 Judiciary News

Don't tire, Breyer!

Nominations, Hearings, Confirmations:

Diversity:  President Biden's first 20 judicial nominees embody the left's idea of diversity.  All of them are on the left, and none of them is a white male.

D-CO:  Colorado's senators have recommended three candidates, Kenzo Kawanabe, Charlotte Sweeney and Nina Wang, for a future vacancy on the district court.

SD-FL:  The applicants for the two vacancies on SD-FL were be interviewed by the congressional judicial nominating commission, which later announced its finalists.  The congressional JNC was established by Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and is not authorized by Senators Scott or Rubio.

Judiciary Committee:  Shockingly, Senate Ds seem not to be running the Judiciary Committee by the standards they demanded it run by when Rs ran the committee.


Senate Judiciary Committee hearings:

The Federal Judiciary:

Breyer:  Ds are worried they might not be able to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court:  Carrie Severino surveys the left's attempts to intimidate the Supreme Court through threats of court packing.

Supreme Court:  The Supreme Court will hear an appeal on Mississippi's law that bans abortion after 15 weeks (with the usual exceptions).  The case could be a vehicle to overturn Roe v. Wade, though more likely it will just be rolled back somewhat.

Court reform:  President Biden’s Supreme Court commission held its first meeting on May 19.  It has six months from that date to study changes to the judiciary.

4th Circuit:  Virginia's D senators have recommended U.S. District Court judges Arenda Allen and M. Hannah Lauck and Virginia Solicitor General Toby Heytens for the open seat on the 4th Circuit.

9th Circuit:  Ed Whelan observes that conservatives on the 9th Circuit have had some success in getting en banc review of bad panel decisions.

11th Circuit:  Retired judge Joseph W. Hatchett died on April 30.  He joined the Florida Supreme Court  in 1975. He was appointed to the Fifth Circuit by Carter in 1979. He transferred to the Eleventh Circuit in 1981.  He was Chief Judge from 1996 until his retirement in 1999.

Vacancy Declarations:  There are now 112 current and future judicial vacancies.  The 18 appeals court vacancies are on the 1st (1), 2nd (3), 4th (1), 5th (1), 6th (1), 7th (1), 9th (4), 10th (2), 11th (1), DC (2), and Federal (1).  New vacancies over the past month are listed below.
9th Circuit: Richard Paez (Clinton) TBD (senior)
ED-VA: Anthony Trenga (W) 6/1 (senior)
5th Circuit: James Dennis (Clinton) TBD (senior)
MD-PA: John E. Jones III (W) XX (retired)
D-PR: Gustavo Gelpí (W) TBD (nominated to 1st Circuit)
9th Circuit: William Fletcher (Clinton) TBD (senior)
11th Circuit: Beverly Martin (Obama) 9/30 (retired)
6th Circuit: Bernice Donald (Obama) XX (senior)

State Supreme Courts:

Alaska:   The Alaska Judicial Council has selected three finalists for a seat on the Alaska Supreme Court being vacated by Joel Bolger.  They are Superior Court Judges Dani Crosby, Jennifer Stuart Henderson and Yvonne Lamoureux, who were all appointed to the Superior Court by left-leaning independent Gov. Bill Walker.   All three of them were finalists for the previous vacancy in 2020.  Another candidate, who was supporeted by Governor Dunleavy's appointees on the council, was eliminated after Bolger voted not to nominate him.

Arizona:  The Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments nominated seven candidates for the open seat on the Arizona Supreme Court vacated by Andrew Gould.  Four candidates are Rs, two are independents, and one is a libertarian. Governor Doug Ducey will appoint one of them.

Illinois:  The D-controlled legislature has proposed new maps for the Illinois Supreme Court.  The map has not been updated since the 1960s, but a more proximate cause for the proposal is the defeat of a D judge in a 2020 retention election.  That seat will be open in 2022, along with a seat held by an R who was appointed to fill a vacancy.  The proposed new map makes both seats more friendly to Ds.

Maine:  Governor Janet Mills nominated Superior Court Justice Valerie Stanfill, age 63, to become chief justice of the Maine Supreme Court.  The seat has been vacant for over a year, since Chief Justice Leigh Saufley stepped down.

Missouri:  Governor Mike Parson appointed Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals judge Robin Ransom to fill he Missouri Supreme Court seat vacated by Laura Denvir Stith.  Ransom will be the court's first black female justice.  The other candidates nominated by the Appellate Judicial Commission were Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals judge Donald E. Burrell Jr. and 21st Judicial Circuit judge William M. Corrigan Jr.

New York:  Governor Andrew Cuomo has made nominations to fill vacancies on the New York Court of Appeals.  They are Nassau County DA Madeline Singas (D) and Justice Anthony Cannataro, who manages the NYC Civil Courts.  The state senate has until June 10 to consider the nominations, which it might not due to Cuomo's scandals and possible impeachment trial.

Pennsylvania:  Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson won the R primary for an open Supreme Court seat with 53%.  Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough had 32%.  Brobson will face Superior Court Judge Maria McLaughlin (D) in the November 2 general election.

Numbers and Trivia:

Here are the numbers of senior status declarations/retirements for federal judges (circuit judges) for the past few months.
1 (0) December
20 (3) January
19 (3) February
8 (3) March
7 (1) April
8 (5) May

2020 Election:  The Juris Lab has some data on lawsuits related to the 2020 election.