Incredulous judge tears apart Trump attorney challenging early votes


CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Krupa

It begins:

At a rally this past weekend, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump complained that “it’s being reported that certain key Democratic polling locations in Clark County were kept for hours and hours beyond closing time to bus and bring and [SIC] Democratic voters in.” County officials deny this allegation, saying that the only voters who were allowed to cast a ballot were those who were in line before the scheduled closing time.


Under state law, “if at the hour of closing the polls there are any registered voters waiting to vote . . . voting must continue until those voters have voted.” So polling officials are not permitted to prevent voters who arrived at the polling place before closing time from voting.

It is unclear what, if any, evidence Trump has that polling places were held open in violation of state law. It is also not entirely clear what the appropriate remedy would be if a violation did occur. Should voters be disenfranchised because they were erroneously permitted to cast a ballot too late? If so, how do election officials identify those ballots?

In any event, in the likely event that Trump does not have any evidence that state law was violated here, his attorneys might want to familiarize themselves with another provision of state law.

Under Rule 11 of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, lawyers must certify to the court that their claims “are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.” Failure to comply with this rule can lead to a court imposing “an appropriate sanction upon the attorneys, law firms, or parties” responsible for filing frivolous litigation.

UPDATE: At a hearing concerning this lawsuit, Judge Gloria Sturman appeared incredulous at many of the arguments raised by Trump’s attorney. At one point she told the lawyer that he has “no cause of action.” At another, after the hearing had proceeded for quite a while, she dismissively told the lawyer “you still somehow think you’re entitled to an order in your favor. Why?”


During arguments over whether elections officials should turn over personal information regarding poll workers who worked at the contesting polling places, Judge Sturman said that “it’s disturbing to me” that poling workers could be harassed because of this lawsuit, if their information is revealed to trolls on Twitter.

It appears unlikely, to say the least, that Trump will prevail.

SECOND UPDATE: And, scene: