A guest article by author Patrice Johnson
In a world abuzz with bank closings and Leftist Groups Tapping $1 Billion To Expand Private Financing of Public Elections…in a world where both chambers of the Democrat-controlled Legislature appear hell-bent on trampling our Constitutional rights and pretty much every considered amendment to the timeworn document, constructed to preserve our unalienable rights, it’s refreshing to know that one law firm, the Thomas More Society, is standing in defense of We the People.
Despite what government officials may tell us, We are the people. They and the government are not We the People. They work for us. They are not of us. There are lines that government servants shall not cross, and here are a few of today’s favorites:
1. The government shall not determine who is to be recruited (or not recruited) to register to vote.
2. Government officials do not have the authority to uphold only the laws they like and then to ignore the laws they don’t like. Their job is to follow all laws.
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3. The government does not have a right to silence or shadow-ban We the People.
4. They have no right to infringe on our right to assemble or our right to pursue happiness.
5. Lest they forget, government officials are prohibited by law from sharing our individual protected, personal identifying information (PII) housed at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. They are not allowed to share this PII with the Electronic Registration Information Center, a 3-employee, office-less, third party designed by Leftists to gain systemic advantage in our elections.
6. If our government fails us and shares our PII with ERIC, as it has done, then ERIC has no right to secretly share our protected PII with untold minions of undisclosed Leftist third parties.
Now, let’s talk about number seven.
7. We the People, find it necessary to remind the government that neither the governor nor the courts, and certainly not other presidential electors, have the authority to pick our slates of presidential electors or to harass those who did their civic duty and volunteered.
Yesterday, the Thomas More Society filed suit in defense of Michigan’s 2020 Republican Electors.
Erick Kaardal, special counsel to the Thomas More Society, is defending the 2020 alternate (Republican) slate of electors in Michigan who have been sued by three Democratic electors. The complaint can be found here.
Michigan law requires that in each presidential/vice-presidential election year, each political party “shall choose” a slate of electors for its party and forward the names to the Michigan Secretary of State. Mich. Election Law § 168.42.
Following the election, the State Board of Canvassers “ascertains” each party’s candidate’s popular vote and transmits that information to the governor; the governor then certifies the result to the U.S. Secretary of State. (Mich. Election Law § 168.46.) A few weeks later, the electors of the winning candidates for President and Vice-Present meet and formally vote for their candidates, and the vote is recorded and certified by the governor.
Following the 2020 election, the Republican Party electors were included in this process. Because of ongoing questions about the election result, the Republican electors sent a Certificate of The Votes of the 2020 Electors from Michigan to four officials. Later, on January 6, the United States Senate counted the certificate submitted by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. For that reason, the certificate submitted by the Republican alternate electors was rejected.
Two years later, three Democratic Party electors, Blake Mazurek, Robin Smith, and Timothy Smith, are suing the Republican Party electors claiming they violated various laws, including MCL § 168.932(d) (making it a felony to “in any manner obstruct or attempt to obstruct any elector in the exercise of his or her duties as an elector) and MCL § 168.933a(a) (knowingly makes, files, or otherwise publishes a false document with intent to defraud). The plaintiffs seek over $25,000 in damages. Four of the 16 electors have been served with the suit.
The Thomas More Society has removed the case from state court to federal court. The Notice of Removal asserts two grounds for removal. First, that the case turns on federal law because the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article II, § 1, cl. 2), gives the Michigan legislature – and not state courts – exclusive jurisdiction to regulate Presidential electors.
This doctrine is termed the “independent state legislature doctrine” and is being considered in the U.S. Supreme Court this term in Moore v. Harper, Docket 21-1271. In the suit against the Republican electors, the Michigan legislature has not seen fit to authorize a suit of the type the plaintiffs are trying to prosecute, and therefore the case should be dismissed. The second ground for removal is that the electors are alternate officers who have the power to remove a state-court case against them to federal court under 42 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1).
Substantively, the defendant Republican electors were, in effect, protesting perceived Michigan election anomalies, and their actions are protected as free speech. Moreover, the actions did not interfere with the statutory process of certification of the electors of the winning candidate, inasmuch as the Democratic electors’ votes for Joe Biden were cast and counted.
The case does suggest that legislation could be helpful in defining how post-election challenges to electoral anomalies might occur without the need to proffer an alternate slate of electors. But the absence of Michigan legislative action to date supports the defendants’ position in the case.
It also suggests number eight:
8. The winning team looks particularly unbecoming when it kicks the losing team in the teeth. This blatant attempt to intimidate, harass, and terrorize citizens from doing their civic duty and serving as presidential electors is shameful.
Thank you, Thomas More Society and Erick Kaardal, Esq., for riding to their rescue.