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Obama-Appointed Judge Smacks Down Marc Elias’ ‘Absurd’ Election Lawfare

Attorney Mark Elias speaking on MSNBC.
Image CreditMSNBC / Youtube 

It’s what you might expect from a firm headed by one of the chief architects of the Russia collusion hoax. 

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The firm of Democrats’ favorite lawfare artist — who was also the attorney behind the Russia-collusion hoax — was all but laughed out of court in a recent Wisconsin election integrity case.  

D.C.-based Elias Law Group, founded by former Clinton campaign and Democrat National Committee lawyer Marc Elias, brought a “novel” absentee ballot complaint against the state that an Obama-appointed judge called “head-scratching.” 

In dismissing the lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, U.S District Court Chief Judge James D. Peterson summarily rejected the leftist law group’s outlandish claim that a state law requiring a U.S. citizen witness and sign an absentee voter’s ballot is a violation of voting and civil rights. 

‘Absurd’ Interpretation

In a 37-page ruling, Peterson railed against the complaint’s core argument, concluding that “the most obvious problem with plaintiffs’ interpretation is that it simply does not make any sense.”

“The absurd results to which plaintiffs’ interpretation would lead are reason enough to reject that interpretation. But the text, purpose, and history of [Wisconsin Statute] § 6.87 also support an interpretation that a witness is required to certify only the statements about the process of preparing the ballot,” Peterson wrote of the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.  

“It is plaintiffs’ interpretation that leads to head-scratching results,” the federal judge wrote. 

The Elias Law Group, practitioners of unbridled leftist lawfare, represent four Wisconsin residents who “wish to vote by absentee ballot in the 2024 election, but they do not want to comply with the witness requirement,” according to the lawsuit. They insist the process of asking any U.S. citizen to witness them vote and to sign their absentee ballots “is difficult or inconvenient for them.”

“They contend that the requirement violates two federal statutes, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they seek to permanently enjoin enforcement of the requirement,” Peterson writes in his ruling. 

Basic Requirements 

The statute requires absentee voters to certify on their ballot envelopes that they are residents of the district or ward in which they are voting, that they reside in the state and are entitled to vote, and that they are “unable or unwilling to appear at the polling place … on election day.” The law also requires the voter to certify that he followed the process for preparing the absentee ballot. 

Witnesses are required to certify that they are U.S. citizens and that the voting procedures were executed as stated. They must also affirm that they “did not solicit or advise the elector to vote for or against any candidate or measure.”

Pretty simple. Not much of a burden. And as Peterson notes, the law is “intended to serve legitimate and important purposes, such as deterring voter fraud, undue influence, and ballot harvesting.”

But the folks at the Elias Law Group see the witness provision as an affront to civil rights. One of the plaintiffs, Anna Haas, “plans to be traveling overseas around the time of the November 2024 election.” She won’t have a U.S. citizen with her, so who will witness and sign her absentee ballot?! Well, any U.S. citizen traveling abroad could, or Haas could submit her ballot up to two weeks in advance, as Peterson notes. Plaintiff Anna Poi attends college in Minnesota. Poi prefers to use another Wisconsin voter as her witness so that she “will be able to locate and rely on the witness if it becomes necessary to cure the certificate.” 

Putting aside the plaintiffs’ laughable “burdens,” Peterson wrote that these poor, unfortunate souls “have not shown that either the Voting Rights Act of 1965 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits a state from requiring absentee voters to prepare their ballot in front of a witness.”

‘Inconsistent with the Law’

But it was the lawfare attorneys’ bizarre reading of the state’s absentee voting law that really had the federal judge scratching his head. Elias’ legal dream team argued that the statute requires a witness to do more than ensure that the voter followed procedure. According to their expanded interpretation, a witness would have to “certify that the voter is eligible to vote.”

“But that interpretation is inconsistent with the text and purpose of the statute, and it is inconsistent with how the law has been interpreted since it was enacted,” Peterson wrote. 

The Elias Law Group’s interpretation, according to the ruling, would effectively force the witness to be a private investigator, determining the voter’s “age, residence, citizenship, criminal history, whether the voter is unable or unwilling to vote in person, whether the voter has voted at another location or is planning to do so, whether the voter is capable of understanding the objective of the voting process, whether the voter is under a guardianship, and, if so, whether a court has determined that the voter is competent.”

That’s not what the law asks, and an attorney who puts the law before politics would know that. 

“Plaintiffs’ expansive interpretation of the law would lead to arbitrary restrictions on states’ authority to regulate elections and threaten any requirement on a voter to provide information on a ballot or related document, including a signature requirement or Wisconsin’s requirement that an absentee voter certify that he or she is not voting at another location,” Peterson wrote in his smackdown of the Elias attorneys’ absurd legal argument. 

“Plaintiffs have not identified any reason why Congress would have restricted states in the way plaintiffs propose.” 

With that, the judge directed the clerk to close the case. 

Russia Hoax Architect

It’s what you might expect from a firm “committed to helping Democrats win” and headed by one of the chief architects of the Russia-collusion hoax. 

Marc Elias and his fellow Democrat election deniers insisted the 2016 election, in which Republican Donald Trump won the presidency, was rigged — thanks to supposed Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. They were so committed to that concept that they paid for and pushed a Russian-sourced dossier accusing Trump and his allies of all manner of corruption. But the dossier turned out to be phony opposition research, paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC she controlled. That didn’t stop Elias and crew from peddling it to a willing deep state and a hungry accomplice media which employed the hoax to try to take down a president they loathed. 

“The legal mastermind probably most responsible for the leftist push to subvert our democracy, overturn elections, and destroy election integrity is Marc E. Elias,” wrote John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky in their 2021 book Our Broken Elections. Elias “has grown astoundingly wealthy representing Democratic candidates, political action committees, and party organizations” and “seems to have a monopoly on the Democratic political machine.”

It was Elias, as a partner with Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, who hired Fusion GPS to churn the dirt on her opponent. 

“Fusion went on to solicit former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to create the infamous Steele dossier, which contained several salacious and since-debunked claims about Trump and his alleged ties to Russia,” Just The News reported in a piece headlined, “How a top Democrat lawyer undermined both sides’ confidence in U.S. elections.” 

Eight years later, Elias’ law group is engaged in lawfare to rig election laws in Democrats’ favor around the country, spending millions to weaken election integrity statutes in advance of November’s rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. 


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