Judges, a generally sober lot, are not as a rule given to snark, sarcasm or outbursts of emotion in their orders.
But in the nearly three dozen lawsuits challenging the 2020 election that the Trump campaign and its proxies have either lost or withdrawn in recent weeks, a number of judges have lost patience.
Here are some scathing excerpts from their rulings:
“Perhaps Plaintiffs are right that guards should be placed near drop boxes, signature-analysis experts should examine every mail-in ballot, poll watchers should be able to man any poll regardless of location, and other security improvements should be made. But the job of an unelected federal judge isn’t to suggest election improvements, especially when those improvements contradict the reasoned judgment of democratically elected officials.”
“Put differently, federal judges can have a lot of power — especially when issuing injunctions. And sometimes we may even have a good idea or two. But the Constitution sets out our sphere of decision-making, and that sphere does not extend to second-guessing and interfering with a state’s reasonable, nondiscriminatory election rules.”
Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, dismissing the Trump campaign’s attempt to stop Pennsylvania counties from using ballot drop boxes and from tallying absentee ballots that were not in a “secrecy” envelope.
“This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together… This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”
Judge Matthew W. Brann of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, dismissing the Trump campaign’s attempt to block certification of Pennsylvania’s election result. (The state certified its results on Tuesday.)