(WXYZ) — A federal just in the Eastern District of Michigan has ruled that attorneys who challenged the Michigan election results should face sanctions for bringing the case.
Judge Linda Parker also ordered that her decision be sent to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission and the disciplinary authorities where each attorney has been admitted to the var for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment.
Among the lawyers named are Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, both allies of former President Donald Trump. Powell is licensed in Texas and Wood is licensed in Georgia.
The other named attornies include Emily Newman (Virginia), Julia Haller (the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey), Brandon Johnson (the District of Columbia, New York, and Nevada), Scott Hagerstrom (Michigan), Howard Kleinhendler (New York and New Jersey), Gregory Rohl (Michigan), and Stefanie Lynn Junttila (Michigan).
Writing "This lawsuit should never have been filed," Parker ordered the attorneys say pay the fees and costs incurred by the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit in defending against the lawsuit. Both the state and city have 14 days to "submit time and expense records, specifying for each attorney who performed work on the matter, the date, the hours expended, the nature of the work performed, and, where applicable, the attorney’s hourly rate."
The attorneys do have the right to submit objections to the requested amounts within 14 days of their filings.
The court also ordered the attorney to complete 12 hours of continuing legal education in the subjects of pleading standards and election law within the next six months. They must pay for the courses, which must be offered by a non-partisan organization, and must provide affidavits to the court "describing the content and length of the courses attended to satisfy this requirement."
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
Today, democracy won.
After the 2020 election where Americans voted in record numbers, the outgoing president, his allies, and his enablers pushed the Big Lie—that the election was stolen, that our system didn’t work, that American democracy was fraudulent.
While the mob on January 6th physically assaulted our democracy, Sidney Powell and other lawyers continued to do so in our courts. They launched dozens of lawsuits, exploiting the legal system to undermine a free and fair election. The courts rejected all of them.
Today’s ruling sends a clear message: those who seek to overturn an American election and poison the well of American democracy will face consequences.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
I’m pleased to see that the Court has ensured there is accountability for the attorneys who perpetuated meritless arguments in court. It has remained abundantly clear from the outset that this lawsuit aimed to do nothing more than undermine our democratic process. I appreciated Judge Parker’s thoroughness in the hearing last month, and I appreciate the unmistakable message she sends with this ruling — those who vow to uphold the Constitution must answer for abandoning that oath.
The opening paragraph of the 110-page opinion reads, “This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process. It is one thing to take on the charge of vindicating rights associated with an allegedly fraudulent election. It is another to take on the charge of deceiving a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were infringed, without regard to whether any laws or rights were in fact violated. This is what happened here.
Parker spent hours during a July hearing drilling deeply into details about an unsuccessful lawsuit that challenged Michigan’s 2020 election results.
The lawsuit alleging fraud was dropped after Parker found no evidence that votes for Trump somehow were destroyed or given to Joe Biden.