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Trump campaign files appeal to state Supreme Court in election lawsuit seeking to block presidential race results; Dems ask for dismissal

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
Criminal JusticeElection 2020Government
The front of the Nevada Supreme Court Building

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court for reconsideration of an election contest lawsuit tossed by a lower-court judge last week, seeking to block confirmation of Nevada’s six electoral votes or to have them awarded to the president’s campaign.

The appeal notice was filed Monday afternoon before the state’s highest court and marks the likely last chance for the president’s campaign to challenge election results in Nevada, as Tuesday marks a federal “safe harbor” election deadline where states must certify election results or resolve litigation before members of the Electoral College meet to cast their votes for president by Dec. 14.

The campaign is asking for an expedited process and decision from the state’s highest court in asking for an appeal from Carson City Judge James Russell’s order on Friday denying the campaign’s claims of mass voter fraud and request to overturn the results of the election.

Russell wrote in his order that the Trump campaign had failed to provide any backing evidence to support the claims of mass-level voter fraud that the campaign alleged brought the results of the presidential election into question. He declared in the order that many of the depositions and examples of evidence provided by the Trump campaign were “unsound,” and found “no credible or reliable evidence that the 2020 General Election in Nevada was affected by fraud.”

The appeal itself argues that Russell ignored “substantial evidence” that tens of thousands of illegal votes were cast, and erred by using “judicial gloss” in raising the standard of proof needed for the campaign to demonstrate sufficient evidence that there were enough fraudulent votes cast to provide “reasonable doubt” as to the results of the election.

“It is clear from the record that there is sufficient evidence of illegal and improper votes cast and counted in Nevada in an amount sufficient to overturn or annul the results of the election,” attorneys for the campaign wrote in a filing.

Attorneys representing state and national Democrat Party groups also filed a motion for summary affirmance with the state’s highest court on Monday, essentially a legal request for the court to immediately deny the appeal, affirm Russell’s initial decision and agree to certify the state’s election results by the “safe harbor” deadline of Tuesday.

The motion called the appeal a “frivolous” filing that had no chance to succeed given the campaign’s failure to prove any of its “farfetched claims of fraud” at the District Court level, and that the court had a responsibility to finalize election results ahead of the Tuesday deadline.

“Immediate resolution of the appeal is needed to bring certainty and stability to the people of Nevada — and the entire nation — in advance of pending deadlines related to the casting and counting of votes by presidential electors,” attorneys wrote in the motion.

On Monday evening, the Court issued a procedural schedule instructing the Trump campaign to respond to the motion filed by attorneys for the Democrats by 2 p.m. on Tuesday, while also instructing attorneys for the Democrats to respond to the Trump campaign's motion by the same deadline.

Election results certified by the state Supreme Court last month gave former Vice President Joe Biden a final 33,596-vote win over Trump in Nevada. The state’s six electors and all electors nationwide are scheduled to meet on Dec. 14 to cast official ballots for president and vice president.

Also on Monday, Justice Elissa Cadish (a Democrat), voluntarily recused herself from the case, saying that her “impartiality might reasonably be questioned based on my personal relationships with several of the named respondents.”

Updated at 5:01 p.m. to include additional information about the campaign's appeal, which was filed after this story was first published. Updated again at 5:14 p.m. to include information on a procedural schedule set by the Court.


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