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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Sanctions Against Attorneys Responsible for Frivolous Election Litigation

LANSING – The Supreme Court of the United States last week denied a request to review the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirming the award of sanctions against attorneys responsible for a frivolous lawsuit related to the 2020 presidential election. The sanctions are awarded to various defendants, including the State of Michigan, as compensation for costs incurred to respond and litigate the frivolous suit.  

Defendants awarded sanctions, alongside the State of Michigan, include Facebook, Dominion Voting Systems, and the State of Pennsylvania. The sanctions, including $4,900 to Michigan, were awarded by the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and upheld by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. By denying review, the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the award of sanctions.  

"This ruling sends a resounding message: attorneys who neglected their oath to support the Constitution by taking part in election lawsuits based neither in fact nor reality not only undermined our legal system - they did irreparable harm to our election processes and will be held accountable," Nessel said. "These sanctions affirm that although severe damage was done by these baseless lawsuits, the democratic foundation on which this country was built remains intact and the rule of law still prevails.” 

In the original 2021 order specifying the sanctions, authored by U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Neureiter wrote of the sanctioned attorneys, “They are experienced lawyers who should have known better. They need to take responsibility for their misconduct. Defendants have been significantly prejudiced, not just because they have had to incur legal fees to defend this pointless and unjustified lawsuit, but because they have been defamed, without justification, in public court filings. Finally, I believe that rather than a legitimate use of the legal system to seek redress for redressable grievances, this lawsuit has been used to manipulate gullible members of the public and foment public unrest. To that extent, this lawsuit has been an abuse of the legal system and an interference with the machinery of government.” 

The original 21-page order, which itemizes the amounts of each defendants’ fees, can be read on the Department of Attorney General’s website.


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