THOUGHTS & MUSINGS ON POLITICS & THE UNIVERSE

A BLOG BY SHANNON FISHER

Petition Before SCOTUS Seeks To Nullify Election

MAJOR UPDATE: SCOTUS docket # 16-907 DISTRIBUTED TO JUSTICES FOR CONFERENCE on March 17, 2017!

writ-cover

While the world is paying attention to theatrical battles over President Trump’s executive orders and cabinet nominees, a largely unnoticed and potentially landmark case sits before the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. A petition for a writ of mandamus seeking to nullify the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election sits on the SCOTUS docket.

A petition for a writ of mandamus is a filing imploring a Court to take mandatory action in the nature of public duty. The petition – filed Jan 18, 2017 by Diane Blumstein, Donna Soodalter-Toman, and Nancy Goodman – has been assigned docket number 16-907.

The main argument for the writ is that, per Article IV § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, it is the job of the federal government to keep U.S. territory safe from foreign invasion. The Constitution stipulates, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.” The petition cites evidence of such an invasion, namely the Russian hacking, and asks that the entire 2016 election be nullified, all the way back to the primaries, on the grounds that cyber-territory in the U.S. was invaded with the intention of altering the results of our Presidential election. The petitioners seek an entirely new election.

Supreme Court Cellphone Searches

Source: AP

Per Title 28 of the U.S. Code § 1251, SCOTUS has “original jurisdiction” over cases like this due to the involvement of a foreign state. There is no remedy for the foreign cyber-invasion, they argue, other than complete nullification.

“I knew there was a strong legal argument for this, and we had cases prepared in several states, but we decided to consolidate all of our efforts into this one case for the sake of judicial efficiency,” said Jerroll Sanders, who wrote the petition for the writ of mandamus and served as national legal strategist for the group REVOTE. “There is a chance the election could be ruled invalid due to the mountain of evidence that we were invaded with an intent to sway our election. If we are able to argue this case, I think we can win it.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently declassified a report detailing the Russian hacking with evidence that Vladimir Putin personally ordered an “influence campaign” to sway public favor in the direction of Donald Trump to influence the results of the U. S. Presidential election.

REVOTE‘s website states, “As the leaders of the free world, we cannot allow an adversary to invade our territory and subvert our republican form of government. If other nations such as Austria and the Ukraine held a revote after Russia intervened in their election, so should we.”

A response is due from SCOTUS on February 21. SCOTUS estimates that just 0.01% of cases filed with the court are granted plenary review with oral arguments, so the odds are stacked against this case being heard, but the petition for the writ is on the docket and the hold out hope that the odds are in their favor.

Written by Shannon Fisher

Listen to my interview with Jerroll Sanders on The Authentic Woman about the Petition for a Writ of Mandamus currently on the SCOTUS docket:

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/authorsontheair/shannon-fisher-interviews-jerroll-sanders-about-the-scotus-petition-reqesting-a-new-election

BlogTalkRadio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheair/2017/02/11/jerroll-sanders-talks-scotus-petition-for-2016-election-revote-w-shannon-fisher

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/jerroll-sanders-talks-scotus/id687955991?i=1000381082001&mt=2

Note: To avoid any confusion, it should be noted that the same petitioners initially made a filing, unrelated to the Petition for a Writ of Mandamus. They filed an Application for a Stay of the Presidential Inauguration with SCOTUS, which was denied. This filing was heard by the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Massachusetts, and denied by Circuit Court Judges Lynch, Kayatta and Barron. The petitioners appealed the Application for a Stay to SCOTUS, but it was denied by both Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg. This application should not be confused with the current petition for a writ of mandamus being considered by the court.

 

UPDATE # 1: Revote2017.org is the website of the petitioners Diane Blumstein, Donna Soodalter-Toman, and Nancy Goodman.

UPDATE # 2: The Solicitor General filed a Waiver of Right of the Federal Respondents to Respond on February 17. The petitioners filed a Motion for the Appointment of a Special Master on February 17. The Court is expected to respond to the petitioners soon.

 

This piece also appears on the following publications/websites:

DailyKos

Blue Virginia

Read the Petition for Writ of Mandamus

 

19 comments on “Petition Before SCOTUS Seeks To Nullify Election

  1. Mike Hickey
    February 10, 2017

    It’s a pipe dream. Not going to happen – ever. Next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shannon Fisher
      February 10, 2017

      I state in the story that the chances are 0.01% of being selected. But the argument is interesting.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ellen Fitzpatrick
        February 25, 2017

        http://www.snopes.com/scouts-nullify-the-2016-election/ (Snopes says it was automatic distribution to Justices & advancement of Mandamus Writ…..) Agree the Issue of Cyber Invasion of Elections is Important & there needs to be a Legal Remedy. This story was hard to track down. Not Fake News but this piece of the Legal Process if true was missing. Huff Post deleted it but should have covered the Issue & the Process of taking this Path to SCOTUS. Thanks for publishing the Writ & I hope RBG & SCOTUS comment on the issue or offer alternate Remedy….

        Like

      • ankylus
        February 27, 2017

        But not from a legal perspective. There’s just so much wrong with the petition and what it’s trying to do from a legal perspective that it’s hard to know where to start. It’s literally incoherent from a legal perspective.

        Like

    • Dorothy Miller
      February 11, 2017

      Nevertheless, she persisted.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cynthia Armstrong
    February 10, 2017

    Public opinion is just that. We don’t censor public opinion foreign or domestic.To censor it would be a breach of our constitutional rights.

    “The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to …”

    How do you censor foreign opinion?

    “…a report detailing the Russian hacking with evidence that Vladimir Putin personally ordered an “influence campaign” to sway public favor in the direction of Donald Trump to influence the results of the U. S. Presidential election.”

    I don’t believe they did anything wrong. Trump got elected because there was nobody else. That is the fault of our party conventions and the elite control of THAT democracy, but it wasn’t foreign influence, even if Putin promoted an agenda that benefited him. That is still opinion. Unless he physically hacked the voting machines and changed votes, now that would be a different story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Renee
      February 13, 2017

      What you are saying is simply not supported by the facts. They don’t have free speech in Russia and we have sanctions on them. They are not a reliable source but we do know for sure they interfered in the election. No rationalization can change this fact.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Judy Bradbury
    February 13, 2017

    Is there any way to help with this? We all know the chances are slim, but need to persist and resist in any way we can. Thanks for your work. And persistence.

    Like

  4. Thomas Sweeny
    February 15, 2017

    Best of luck. This is important. Thank you.

    Like

  5. Barbara Brower
    February 15, 2017

    We need an entirely new election, beginning with new primaries, too. There were too many underhanded, dirty tricks in the primaries, and way too much name-calling and outright lies in the debates. There should be rules that prohibit bullying tactics. Anyone using lies or bullying should be eliminated from the race immediately. There should be immediate fact-checking at the debates to ensure that the candidates ONLY use true information to support their argument.

    Like

    • Pam Singer
      February 22, 2017

      I love the idea of fact checking at the debates as long as the results are posted as soon as possible so people watching may learn. Also, I hate mud slinging campaigns. Candidates should honestly state how they feel about the issues and what their plans are.

      Like

  6. James Zadok
    February 16, 2017

    The Supreme Court ruled in 1849 and several times thereafter that cases brought under the Republican Guaranty clause of the US Constitution are political questions and therefore non-justiciable. In other words, courts cannot decide such cases. Consequently (and not very surprisingly) this case is going exactly nowhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Poli-V
    February 19, 2017

    Reblogged this on Poli.V.

    Like

  8. Ellen Blanchette
    February 22, 2017

    I appreciate the effort even if it doesn’t go anywhere. It gives people hope, which right now is better than nothing. I personally prefer the democratic process, flawed as it is. So I would like to see us move past where we are now to a full out effort to regain power of the Congress, House and Senate in 2018 for democrats/ progressives. And then work like crazy to improve the standing across the nation of democrats in state and local government. I do personally believe this administration will collapse of its own erroneous, catastrophically bad choices and behavior. You can see, it has already started. But that is not good for our nation, to have a failed presidency. Sadly, is all we get now.

    Like

  9. Jim
    February 23, 2017

    Since Russia hacked or election Trump and all those elected should be removed from office. Those I office that supported and kept it a secret souls be imprisoned for treason.

    A new election should be held.

    Like

  10. Jon Ayers
    February 23, 2017

    DEMAND MITCH MCCONNELL RESIGN AND RETIRE!

    317 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Phone: (202) 224-2541
    Fax: (202) 224-2499

    Like

  11. Jon Ayers
    February 23, 2017

    Americans do not know the extent of Donald Trump’s business relations with Russia or China, but we need to know.

    In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. — the GOP nominee’s son and the VP for Development for The Trump Organization — told attendees at a real estate conference in New York City that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Americans need to know how much money has poured into The Trump Organization from Russia and from whom. Sergei Millian, the president of the U.S. Russian Chamber of Commerce and friend of Trump, claims in 2016 the figure is in the hundreds of millions.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/302216-how-much-money-does-the-trump-organization-owe

    Sign Here to Impeach Donald Trump and Now Examples of existing business arrangements that constitute violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause include:

    https://www.impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org/

    1. Trump’s business partner in Trump Tower Century City (Manila, Philippines) is Century Properties. (Trump is not the developer; he has a brand licensing contract.) The head of Century Properties is Jose Antonio, who was just named special envoy to the United States by the president of the Philippines.[7] Payments from a company owned by a foreign government official are foreign emoluments.
    2. China’s state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest tenant in Trump Tower. It is also a major lender to Trump.[8] Both its regular rent payments, and its ongoing extension of credit, are foreign emoluments.
    3. Foreign diplomats have already begun shifting their D.C. hotel and event reservations to Trump International Hotel, to curry favor or at least avoid insulting the president.[9] Indeed, the Embassy of Kuwait was reportedly pressured by the Trump Organization to change an existing reservation and reschedule the event at the Trump International.[10] Payments by foreign diplomats for lodging, meeting space, or food at the hotel are foreign emoluments.

    Like

  12. Tim Dolan
    February 23, 2017

    One interesting argument is they could as part of their petition request any and all materials collected by US intelligence agencies that reflect actual hacking of election machines be presented to the court. Even if classified, they would have to then be presented – although it is possible only the court itself would review that material.

    Just in case it helps. I have seen this done in a couple of other cases, where the defendant was not given access to the material, but his lawyer was because someone had collected classified and a proper request had been made. Not 100% sure it will work as they are plaintiffs, but in this case it should.

    Like

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