A federal judge in Georgia on Dec. 7 dismissed an election-related lawsuit brought by Sidney Powell, arguing that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring the lawsuit, should have filed it with a state court, and brought the suit too late.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Batten, appointed by George Bush in 2005, cited a circuit court opinion that found that similar election challenges should be brought in state court.
“There’s no question that Georgia has a statute that explicitly directs that elections contests be filed in Georgia Superior Court,” Batten said after announcing his decision during a hearing on Monday.
“They are state elections. State courts should evaluate these proceedings from start to finish.”
Batten signaled his skepticism about the lawsuit at the opening of the hearing, choosing some of the talking points emphasized by the defendants to introduce the case.
The judge made his decision after hearing roughly 30 minutes’ worth of arguments from the defendants and Powell, who is representing several Republican electors.
“Additionally I find that the plaintiffs waited too late to file this lawsuit. Their primary complaint involves the Dominion ballot marking devices. They say that those machines are susceptible to fraud. There’s no reason they could not have followed the administrative procedure act to object to the rulemaking authority that had been exercised by the secretary of state. This suit could have been filed months ago when the machines were adopted,” Batten said.
In addition to claiming that the Dominion machines were manipulated to change the outcome of the election, Powell alleged several other categories of potentially illegal votes, each sufficient to dispute the outcome of the Nov. 3 election in the Peach State. She disagreed with the argument that the plaintiffs do not have standing or brought the suit too late.
“For those reasons we request the court to deny the motion to dismiss, allow us a few days, perhaps even just five, to conduct an examination of the machines that we have requested from the beginning and find out exactly what went on and give the court further evidence it might want to rule in our favor because the fraud that has happened here has destroyed any public confidence that the will of the people is reflected in their vote and just simply cannot stand,” Powell said in closing her argument.
The plaintiffs asked the court to decertify the results of the election, a remedy the judge deemed extraordinary.