Monday, March 29, 2021

Super Lawyer Marc Elias Sues the New Georgia Voter Suppression Law

 

Marc Elias, of the Perkins Coie
lawfirm


Georgia Governor Brian Kemp had barely finished signing the new Georgia law clamping down on giving ballot access to suspicious people when Washington power lawyer Marc Elias filed a lawsuit to overturn it on behalf of the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter Fund, and Rise, Inc. (which focuses on student enfranchisement). “The Voter Suppression Bill inflicts severe burdens on Georgia’s voters through each individual restriction and the cumulative effect of all the suppressive measures which impose barriers to voting absentee and in-person,” the lawsuit alleges, citing the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Marc Elias ... hmmm ... where have we heard that name before?

He's the devil, according to various spokespersons for the North Carolina Republican Party, the NC Senate Pro Tem's office, Congressman Dan Bishop, and many other pooh-bahs on the vote-suppressing Right. In as remarkable a case of projection we've ever seen, The Carolina Journal (Art Pope) claims that lawyer Elias makes a total mockery of our election system, which is really (right?) a begrudging admission that Elias is actually very good in both court and in private. 

Elias, a partner at the Washington firm of Perkins Coie, represented Governor Roy Cooper during the drawn-out fight over the outcome of the 2016 election. He represented Dan McCready in getting the 2018 Congressional race in the NC-9 redone because of voter fraud, "the first and only time a state has set aside a federal election as a result of fraudulent activity." Last year Elias talked two Republican members on the NC State Board of Elections into signing a consent agreement that allowed, because of the COVID pandemic, absentee ballots in the 2020 General Elections to be accepted up to nine days after the election and without a witness signature. Those two Republicans on the NCSBE immediately said they were "duped" (advantage, Elias) and got their asses fired anyway from the board by the NCGOP. A lawsuit naturally ensued and a federal judge ruled that at least part of the consent agreement violated constitutional separation of powers. U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen ruled that the State Board of Elections could not accept mail-in ballots without a witness signature on the envelope.

The NCSBE had overstepped under Elias's guidance, and Republican members in the General Assembly have been theatrically indignant ever since about both Elias as an operator and the administrative staff at the NCSBE. It's all grist for the "fraud" myth, the Big Lie. 

Marc Elias is someone I'll take in my corner, even if he oversteps (and sometimes gets sanctioned for it). Why should the other side have all the slick and highly effective legal operators? It's about time we have our own bulldogs with a taste for blood. Elias makes no bones about his proclivities. The unit of lawyers he runs at Perkins Coie is called, quite frankly, "The Political Law Group":

"Marc represents dozens of U.S. senators, governors, representatives and their campaigns as well as the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Priorities USA, Senate Majority PAC and House Majority PAC. Marc served as general counsel to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016 and John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004." (Perkins Coie)

Elias is also lead counsel in an attempt right now this minute to overturn the certified election of a Republican congresswoman in Iowa by arguing before the US House's Committee on Administration that Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks should be kicked out of Congress in favor of Democrat Rita Hart, who lost in November to Miller-Meeks by only six votes. Elias says he's found almost two dozen uncounted ballots that should be counted. “22 ballots remain uncounted,” Elias declares at his Democracy Docket website. Elias concedes that a few of those votes would go to Miller-Meeks, but most would add to Hart’s count --“the results of which would put her ahead by 9 votes.” He argues that Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution empowers the House and Senate to overrule vote tallies as each body is the "Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members."

It looks like another bridge too far for the talented and sometimes over-stimulated Marc Elias. We doubt that even the Democratic majority in the US House will overturn that election.

FOOTNOTE
As of March 31, "Democrat Rita Hart has dropped her challenge in the Iowa 2nd Congressional District race, asking the House to no longer consider an investigation into the outcome of her race against Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks following intense Republican pushback."

4 comments:

Mike said...

There have been no comments for quite a while because you are doing a valuable service of voter and political information that doesn't require comment--only thanks. Keep it up J.W.

Red Hornet said...

Jerry is able to block any comment that doesn't suit his POV.
But his sharing is valuable.

Mike said...

Okay Red Hornet, but I don't think you understand J.W. As a retired editor he's conditioned to publish whatever commentary he's solicited. It's true that he "is able to block any comment," but he hasn't conditioned this by his POV. I've known the man since 1972 and we've shared professional careers. Now, I'm sure he can recognize defamatory commentary and would expect him to not publish it. Anyway, I fully agree with you that his sharing is valuable.

J.W. Williamson said...

Awww, you guys!