2020 was certainly an abnormal year.
Lockdowns and a global pandemic led to a hodgepodge of last-minute changes to long-standing elections laws.
Now Democrats are scrambling after another loss to Republicans on election lawsuits.
Federal Judge rules against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in Michigan election suit
Michigan was one of many places that put restrictions on poll watchers in 2020 and then they tried it again ahead of the 2022 Midterms.
Brock Swartzle, a federal Judge, just ruled against the Michigan Secretary of State saying that her restrictions violate state and federal laws.
Now she must either amend her new standards or remove them entirely.
Republicans had brought forth three cases that were consolidated into one and the judge ruled that a “straightforward legal maxim does most of the work in resolving these three consolidated cases” because “an executive branch department cannot do by instructional guidance what it must do by promulgated rule.”
In other words, this was something that should have been widely announced rather than just given out in an instruction manual.
If it had been properly announced, then it would’ve faced the necessary objections and public comments.
Judge decides Benson’s department rule “does not have the force and effect of law”
The judge explained that Secretary Benson violated the Administrative Procedures Act, which is a federal law that was put into place in 1946.
Swartzle says, “Under the APA, only a department’s ‘rule,’ promulgated by the department through the crucible of public notice-and-comment rulemaking, has the force and effect of law.”
He said that if it wasn’t properly enacted then it “does not have the force and effect of law unless specifically authorized by our Legislature.”
Benson’s rule put an extra burden on poll challengers and required them to get credentials from the Secretary of State’s office and put restrictions on their communications so that they would only work through liaisons.
According to the judge, the poll challengers in Michigan this year will continue to receive credentials from political parties and other organizations.
McDaniel says Benson “disregarded” election law and Michiganders deserve transparency
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel celebrated the ruling, declaring “This ruling is a massive victory for election integrity, the rule of law, and Michigan voters.”
She slammed Secretary of State Benson saying that the politician “not only disregarded Michigan election law in issuing this guidance, she also violated the rights of political parties and poll challengers to fully ensure transparency and promote confidence that Michigan elections are run fairly and lawfully.”
McDaniel argued, “This legal win will help deliver the transparency at the ballot box that Michiganders deserve with Midterm elections in 19 days.”
Michigan Department of State says they are planning to appeal ruling
A representative for the Michigan Department of State, Jake Rollow shot back that they “will appeal this ruling to provide certainty to all voters, clerks, election workers, and election challengers on how to maintain peace and order at all voting locations that state law requires and every voter expects and deserves.”
He went on to claim that Michigan “has always provided clear and detailed instruction for interaction among all participants to ensure legal compliance, transparency, and equal treatment of all voters.”
Michigan is one of several states that face a tight and contentious election for Governor.
Trump-backed Republican Tudor Dixon is looking to unseat pro-lockdown Democrat Gretchen Whitmer in November.
US Political Daily will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.