Michigan Secretary of State (SoS) Jocelyn Benson’s attorney laughed when she said in the courtroom that the SoS may ignore Michigan law when she doesn’t like the law.
Guest post by Braden Giacobazzi
A 3-judge panel of Michigan Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, has ruled that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson acted outside the bounds of Michigan law when issuing her 2022 manual for election poll challengers titled “The Appointment, Rights, and Duties of Election Challengers and Poll Watchers.”
This lawsuit, O’Halloran, et al vs. Secretary of State and Director of Bureau of Elections, was initiated because Secretary of State (SOS) Benson issued rules that conflicted with Michigan Election Law, infringing on the rights of poll challengers to properly ensure lawful elections across Michigan. Under Michigan’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA), a rule must be promulgated by the APA or it is void. The SOS has no authority to make rules outside of the APA. Doing so would be a violation of the separation of powers, since she would essentially be legislating from her executive position without any oversight or power to do so.
Instead of staying within the powers granted to her, Benson forced new restrictive rules disguised as ‘guidance’ without any public notice or opinion period or voting, which violates the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). This seems to happen before every election with Benson, who knows that the litigation like this is a lagging remedy; by the time she loses (again) in court months or years later, the public has already lost the ability to have another election that is free, fair, transparent and lawful.
Her illegal 2022 rule manual increased from 10 to 26 pages. The updated pages contained numerous illegal restrictions that neutered the rights of poll challengers to ensure that elections were being run legitimately in 2022 and 2023. This is a continuation of Benson’s perpetual executive branch overreach. She has been struck down for various kinds of election interference by courts 5 times already.
There was an initial attempt by radical Democrat swamp attorneys from the massive and infamous Elias Law Group (among others) to join this case on the side of the defense. Despite this, the plaintiffs’ attorney Ann Howard—who has no such political pedigree or dealings with election law, prevailed with her team in this David vs. Goliath victory as judges saw through these bullying shenanigans.
Perhaps the exhaustion from having to deal with a 5-time loser, Benson, wore on the 3 appellate judges. This judicial fatigue would have been due, in part, to the hundreds of pages–including the multiple amicus briefs in favor of Defendant Benson, that was required reading for all the judges in order to adjudicate this matter again. Benson first lost this case in the Court of Claims just prior to the 2022 election.
No matter how many times Benson gets beaten down in the courts, she continues to lawlessly put the thumb on the scale of justice prior to every election. This results in disenfranchising voters and poll challengers.
In a recent court hearing, Benson’s attorney laughed when she said the SoS might ignore Michigan laws that she doesn’t like.
Did Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson’s Attorney really argue before the Michigan Court of Appeals that SoS may ‘ignore’ Michigan law at her leisure…while laughing? This marked the 6th loss in court for Benson, who is now appealing this to the MI Supreme Court
— Braden (@Braden240492621) December 5, 2023