This week, a Georgia court dealt another loss to Republicans with an order halting discovery in a court challenge that a Trump ally brought against the election results. Georgia attorney Lin Wood recently filed suit, attempting to block the certification of Georgia’s presidential election results and complaining about a change in Georgia’s mail-in ballot signature verification process that allowed voters to correct issues with their ballots. Georgia authorities have since officially certified the state’s election results — other swing states including Michigan and Pennsylvania have done the same — and now, as Wood’s lawsuit drags on, Judge Steven Grimberg has paused discovery proceedings. “Discovery” involves the accumulation of evidentiary material like depositions.
🚨NEW: Georgia federal court HALTS Republican effort to use their failed election lawsuit to gain pointless discovery. pic.twitter.com/drDV17MJNQ
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 24, 2020
Following an earlier denial of his initial requests, Wood has apparently filed for an appeal in his case. Defendants and the Democratic Party of Georgia, which has intervened in the case, have filed motions to dismiss the case altogether, and Judge Grimberg ordered a response from Wood to these motions to dismiss by Wednesday. Russ Willard, an attorney with the Georgia Attorney General’s office, has previously characterized Wood’s court challenge as an attempt “to change the rules at the end of the game in order to alter the score.” The changes to the state’s mail-in ballot signature verification process that are at issue were implemented over six months prior to Election Day — and yet, Wood’s lawsuit only emerged comparatively recently.
Grimberg hasn’t sounded particularly enthused about Wood’s foundational arguments. At one point, the judge commented as follows:
‘It harms the public interest in countless ways, particularly in the environment in which this election occurred. To halt the certification at literally the 11th hour would breed confusion and potentially disenfranchisement that I find has no basis in fact or in law.’
In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign itself recently sought in court to halt the official certification of the state’s election results. Pennsylvania federal Judge Matthew Brann recently dismissed that case, in which top Trump ally Rudy Giuliani participated as a member of the president’s legal team. The Trump team rushed to plot an appeal of the decision, but in the meantime, Judge Brann characterized the Trump team’s case as full of “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations,” and “strained,” merit-less legal arguments don’t exactly sit well in court proceedings.