A longshot legal petition to nullify the 2016 federal elections based on the Constitution’s “Guarantee Clause” just moved forward at the Supreme Court this week, after last week the Trump administration declined to reply. Our Supreme Court set the case for Conference on Friday, March 17th to put the petition in front of all of the Justices. (see below)
According to a career prosecutor interviewed for this story, four of the eight justices must then vote that Blumstein vs. U.S. meets their high standard to go to a full hearing. Additionally, the three Massachusetts women who petitioned the court have asked for the appointment of a Special Master, which is a special officer to weigh the evidence and make findings to the Court. There has never before been a case about the Constitution’s Guarantee Clause (which obliges the federal government to protect states from foreign invaders) like this decided in front of the Supreme Court.
Three extraordinary citizens from Massachusetts filed this court action, seeking to nullify the election late last year. They cited the actions of Austria and Ukraine who held revotes after unfairly held elections as legal precedents.
Diane Blumstein, Nancy Goodman, and Donna Soodalter-Toman argue in the case, that Russia cyber invaded America and that our Intelligence Community’s reports in October and January, along with the FBI’s public statements prove that our Executive Branch concluded a foreign invader influenced the 2016 elections.
The lower court called the case of Blumstein vs. U.S. a “novel constitutional question,” but said that question of if the United States had suffered a foreign cyber invasion was a question best decided by the “political branches” of government like Congress or the Executive Branch.
Since then, the Obama Administration released a lengthy declassified report to the public – on the same day that the lower court issued the opinion – in which seventeen executive branch agencies concluded that Russia used cyber military units from their GRU to invade American cyberspace as part of Putin’s plan to aid Donald Trump and attack Hillary Clinton.
Lawyers call these Cases of First Impression, and this one presents a real series of never before answered questions to the Supreme Court:
- Can the Supreme Court consider intelligence reports and statements of the former President as conclusory that an invasion has taken place? (and if so, will they review the top-secret report?)
- Does a private party have the right to enforcement of the Constitution’s Guarantee Clause?
- Do the judges as a non-political matter have the right to nullify a federal election after multiple states election systems were intruded upon?
- Is the cyber intrusion by Russian armed forces into the DNC’s Headquarters on federal land in Washington D.C. sufficient to conclude that an invasion has taken place?
It’s a fascinating case and presents a series of logically sound reasons why a jurist might take action.
The women from Massachusetts also argue that Russian influence into Congressional elections has caused an unresolvable conflict of interest in investigating the matter. It is well documented that Russian cyber invasion struck the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which the New York Times reported, and we even interviewed one of the targeted Democratic candidates.
However, Blumstein vs. U.S. is also a terrifying long shot.
The petition has a 1% chance of even being heard by the court, let alone of being decided favorably for the three brave citizens from Massachusetts who’ve brought this ultimate longshot legal challenge to fruition.
We’ll keep you posted when the Supreme Court issues a decision about if the Court elects to take the case, and if so when oral arguments are scheduled.
But don’t hold your breath, the court must find on first a reason to believe that there’s a clear entitlement to relief by the three Massachusetts women to interfere with a federal election.
The odds are terrible, but anything can happen. Our current President is proof.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition