On Oct 10, we reported about five individuals in Michigan who sued Michigan’s dishonest Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and MI Director of Elections Jonathan Brater over their sudden creation of a new set of rules titled “The Appointments, Rights, and Duties of Poll Challengers and Election Workers,” only months before Michigan’s August 2, 2022, Primary Election.
The lawsuit, which Attorney Ann Howard filed in the MI Court of Claims, was joined together with a similar lawsuit filed by the RNC. The suit asked for an emergency injunction to compel MI SOS Jocelyn Benson and Jonathan Brater to rescind the changes to their newly created “guidance” for poll challengers that was first implemented in the August 2022 Primary Election.
The new set of rules by Jocelyn Benson, the Soros-funded MI Democrat SOS, essentially ties the hands of poll challengers who have a constitutional right to examine the absentee ballot counting process. It is just one more example of how Benson consistently pushes the envelope and goes outside of the bounds of her job description by restricting members of the Republican Party, who she treats like an enemy, from overseeing the absentee ballot counting process.
On October 20, Judge Swarzle offered his opinion, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs.
Instead of complying with the ruling by Judge Swarzle and removing her made-up rules from the MI SOS, a taxpayer-funded website, Michigan’s dirty SOS Jocelyn Bensonimmediately appealed the decision to the MI Supreme Court, hoping for a more favorable outcome. Michigan’s dirty SOS and her legal team, which includes lawyers from Hillary Clinton’s favorite law firm headed up by leftist hack attorney Marc Elias, issued over 460 pages of legal filings.
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“guidance,” as she points out, “This is the fifth time a judge has slapped her down.”:
Today, in a stunning reversal of Judge Swartzle’s decision, a 5-2 ruling from the far-left-leaning MI Supreme Court granted SOS Benson’s request to stay the Circuit Court judge’s decision.
The MI Supreme Court’s decision means that the poll challengers are NOT allowed to have any discussion with election workers and are forced to ONLY communicate with a liaison. If that liaison is busy with another issue or poll challenger and the polls challenger, who is also not allowed to leave the precinct where they are watching the ballots being processed, the ballot in question could be processed and tabulated before a so-called liaison comes to their table to address an objection. In other words, an illegally cast ballot can be tabulated with no ability for the poll challenger to prevent it from happening.
From the MI Supreme Court decision:
Providing a challenger liaison therefore does not appear contrary to any statute, so long as such a liaison is actually available, and it appears to be within the Secretary of State’s authority under a statutory provision distinct from its rulemaking authority. The Secretary of State therefore has a high likelihood of success on the merits in this issue.
Justin Brian Zahra shared a scathing dissent in the Supreme Court decision:
This is not the first time that the Secretary of State has claimed to merely be issuing “instructions” to justify the lack of open and transparent promulgation of rules under the APA. The same claim was made before the 2020 general election. Yet, in March 2021, the Court of Claims issued an opinion that held, “[i]n sum, the standards issued by defendant [Secretary of State] on October 6, 2020, with respect to signature-matching requirements amounted to a ‘rule’ that should have been promulgated in accordance with the APA. And absent compliance with the APA, the ‘rule’ is invalid.”
In the present case, the Court of Claims carefully and reasonably reviewed the challenges and found each to be in conflict with statutory law concerning the credentialling of poll watchers and their conduct during the election. At this stage of these proceedings, I cannot conclude that a stay of the Court of Claims judgment should enter. Indeed, it appears likely that defendants have once again chosen to implement “rules” under the guise of “instruction.”
Under MCL 168.31(1)(a), the Secretary of State shall “issue instructions and promulgate rules pursuant to the [APA] for the conduct of elections and registrations in accordance with the laws of this state.” Defendants undisputedly did not promulgate revisions to the Manual pursuant to the APA, and they argue that they were not required to do so because the revisions were only instructional. Yet, defendants assert that “the instructions are binding on local clerks, MCL 168.21, MCL 168.31(1)(a)-(c), who in turn have the obligation to train all election inspectors on Election Day procedures pursuant to those instructions, including the procedures related to challengers and the challenge process, MCL 168.31(1)(c), (i), (m).” Defendants cannot have it both ways.
While defendants maintain that the Manual was revised to provide mere instructions, those instructions became manifest when actually implemented and put into practice during the August 2, 2022 primary. At that point, plaintiffs could cite the revisions to the Manual and claim the revisions were not merely instructional, they were in fact rules that were required to be promulgated under the APA to have the effect of law.17