Supreme Court declines to hear another longshot 2020 election fraud challenge

Jan 9, 2023, 3:35 PM
FILE: The U.S. Supreme Court is shown on April 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsc...
FILE: The U.S. Supreme Court is shown on April 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear another longshot case alleging the 2020 election was fraudulent brought by a Utah man seeking to have hundreds of elected officials removed from office, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The case had been dismissed by lower courts for various reasons, including a lack of jurisdiction. But it became a right-wing talking point in the run-up to the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection because the justices discussed whether to hear it during their previously scheduled closed-door conference on the day of the anniversary.

That happenstance timing was the result of the US solicitor general’s decision last year to waive the government’s right to respond in the matter on November 23, automatically putting it on the list for last Friday. The solicitor general’s decision to stay out of the case signaled a belief that it would not be seriously considered by the justices.

“This was a frivolous lawsuit that never came within a light year of actually getting the court’s attention,” said Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

Former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee incorrectly wrote in a Substack post in December that the court “has agreed to a hearing” in the case and laid out the remedies being sought by Raland Brunson, the man who brought the case, which included reinstating Donald Trump as president.

“The only reason why it was on anyone’s radar is because former Gov. Huckabee claimed that there was some deep substantive significance in the fact that the justices were considering it at their January 6 conference,” Vladeck said.

CNN reported last week that US Capitol Police ramped up security around the Supreme Court and Capitol buildings ahead of the January 6 anniversary, and that the department was monitoring for protests related to the case.

According to court documents, lead plaintiff Raland J. Brunson of Ogden, Utah, filed the lawsuit on Oct. 06, 2021, for the “rigged & fraudulent 2020 Presidential election.”

In February 2022, the United States Utah District Court dismissed the case, with Brunson appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court shortly afterward.

On Monday, Brunson posted on his Facebook that they are planning to petition for reconsideration.

KSLTV’s Michael Houck added contributions to this story. 

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Supreme Court declines to hear another longshot 2020 election fraud challenge