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Monday, January 18, 2021

Appeals Court Grants Expedited Review Over Lin Wood’s Lawsuit Challenging Georgia Election Procedures

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday granted Lin Wood’s emergency motion seeking an emergency review of a lower court’s decision that had rejected his efforts to delay the vote certification in Georgia. However, the court said that the appeal could only proceed if Wood could address certain jurisdictional issues.

Wood, an attorney with Trump’s reelection campaign, announced on Twitter, “Thanksgiving Eve News! 11th Circuit granted my Emergency Motion for Expedited Review of lawsuit challenging validity of GA election procedure.

“We The People delivered a historic landslide win for [President Donald Trump] in GA & nationally. We The People will not allow it be stolen.”

The appellate court presented Wood with two questions about jurisdiction (pdf): “Please address whether the district court’s November 20, 2020 order denying the ‘Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order’ is immediately appealable,” and “Please also address whether, and to what extent, any challenge to the denial of the requests for relief in the ‘Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order’ is now moot.”

The questions come after Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp and the state department certified the state’s election results on Nov. 20. In an announcement streamed online, Kemp did not clearly endorse the results but said the law required him to “formalize the certification, which paves the way for the Trump campaign to pursue other legal options and a separate recount if they choose.”

Poll workers across the state began a machine recount of roughly 5 million votes on Nov. 24, which the Trump campaign requested to be performed in accordance with Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution after an earlier hand audit was criticized for not verifying signatures on ballot envelopes.

Prior to the certification, Wood had filed a lawsuit (pdf) on Nov. 13 against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other state officials. He argued that an agreement earlier in March between election officials and the state’s Democratic Party that changed the process of handling absentee ballots in Georgia is unconstitutional.

The agreement could resulted in absentee ballots cast in the 2020 election being invalidated, the filing said. As such, the counting of absentee ballots for the general election in the state is therefore “improper and must not be permitted,” the suit argued.

Under the U.S. Constitution, only state legislatures and Congress can prescribe the “times, places, and manner of holding elections.”

On Nov. 17, Wood filed an emergency motion (pdf) for a temporary restraining order seeking to delay the vote certification in Georgia. Judge Steven Grimberg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia dismissed the effort on Nov. 19, saying that Wood lacked legal standing as an individual voter to challenge Georgia’s election procedures.

Wood then filed an appeal to the 11th Circuit on Wednesday, seeking an emergency review of Grimberg’s decision.

“Appellant requests that this Court grant expedited briefing on its appeal from the District Court’s decision denying the Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order,” the filing (pdf) read. “Appellant’s underlying action relates to the integrity of election procedures in the 2020 Presidential General Election in the State of Georgia, particularly as those procedures were fundamentally and irredeemably flawed, from this Constitutional deviation.”

The 11th Circuit’s order stipulates that defendants—Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other state officials—must respond to Wood’s initial brief by 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, and Wood must file any reply brief by 5 p.m. on Dec. 3.

Janita Kan contributed to this report.



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