I love the smell of strung out legal theories in the morning, they smell like desperation. The following is definitely one for the books. This is the Dominion as government actor theory and I think it will fly about as far as the proverbial lead balloon, but I could be wrong.
You may remember Kurt Olsen, who assisted Ken Paxton with his ludicrous suit to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which all nine Supreme Court justices threw out of court for lack of standing. Olsen is back, this time working for Mike Lindell, and for a number of other plaintiffs, Michigan poll challengers, who claim that the cease and desist letter that they received from Dominion Voting Systems constituted a major traumatic event in their lives and an abrogation of their constitutional rights. This is a beauty, sophistry raised to an art form and masquerading as jurisprudence. Dragging in the RICO violation is original. Anybody know if the courts give points for originality? Daily Beast:
In a complaint reviewed on Friday, eight poll challengers allege that cease and desist letters sent to them by Dominion as part of the company’s defamation lawsuit harmed and damaged the recipients. They allege that Dominion is violating the civil provision of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, engaged in a civil conspiracy, and deprived the litigants of their constitutional rights under the First Amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Olsen, one of the attorneys representing the poll challengers, is a Maryland attorney who rose from relative obscurity to brief Trump on a long-shot maneuver to get the Justice Department to try to overturn the 2020 election at the Supreme Court. Olsen, according to The New York Times, urged both Trump and the Justice Department to file a Supreme Court suit similar to the one filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in order to resolve the standing issues which had doomed the Texas suit. Rosen reportedly ignored Olsen’s attempts to brief him on the effort and the Justice Department never took up the effort.
Since then, Olsen has left his previous firm and reportedly taken on MyPillow magnate Mike Lindell as a client.
The suit also draws on a legal theory—that Dominion is a government actor by virtue of its role in providing technology for elections—first put forward by Dershowitz for Lindell’s February lawsuit against Dominion.
Mike Lindell is not a party to this case.
The plaintiffs in the case worked as poll challengers in Michigan during the 2020 election. Under Michigan state law, political parties and interest groups are allowed to appoint Michigan residents as “challengers” to question the eligibility of voters and ballots in elections.
Each of the plaintiffs says they filled out affidavits with concerns about the voting process in November 2020 and that none of them mentioned Dominion. Nonetheless, the challengers say they still received cease and desist letters.
The letters, according to a sample copy attached to the complaint, demanded that the recipients “cease and desist taking part in defaming Dominion” and preserve any documents or communications with the Trump campaign, its attorneys, the media, and anyone who assisted in filling out an affidavit.
Dominion has not sued any of the eight plaintiffs in the case and has thus far only initiated legal actions against high-profile election conspiracy theorists like Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and pro-Trump news channels like OANN and Newsmax.
The poll challengers argue they were nonetheless “clearly damaged” by the letters and describe themselves as “consumed with a sense of fear” and, as litigant Kathleen Daavettila claimed, “in fear of her life and that of her unborn child” as a result of receiving one.
As to Alan Dershowitz, he is raising fence sitting to an art form, apparently. He has gone on record saying that Joe Biden was legitimately elected and he’s not challenging that. Umm….so why is this case in court? Well, because people should talk about these things, Dersh says, and since he’s got no social life anymore he needs to keep himself occupied, right?
“I think the issue should be debated and should not be censored. I believe Dominion is trying to suppress free speech.”
Dershowitz says that he is not the lead attorney here, rather he’s an “adviser and consultant on the First Amendment issues of this case.”
And he’s billing out for lots of money.