How Can One Judge Wield So Much Control?
The Republican Party is attempting to block a court ruling that allows absentee ballots that show up as long as two weeks after election day from being counted. Both national and state party offices and leaders are involved in the attempt to block a ruling from the State Court of Claims. The ruling was issued by Claims Court Judge Cynthia Stephens.
Judge Stephens has single-handedly been a big supporter of liberal policies and orders over the past 7 months, most notably those of Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Judge Stephens has consistently ruled in favor of the Governor, and her administration, supporting COVID-19 virus Orders and lockdowns, along with Democratic party attempts to push mail-in voting. Many critics point out elements of all those decisions run contrary to current state law and a string of lawsuits are underway to curtail the Orders.
The Republican party offices say standing law should be followed. They say the Judge’s ruling to require the counting of mail-in ballots past election day amounts to the Judge attempting to re-write state law from the bench. Since the national and state GOP parties were not directly involved in the lawsuit that led to the ruling in question, they need permission now to intervene in the case. Judge Stephens has until Wednesday to make that determination. Republicans are also challenging another portion of the Judge’s ruling, which allows a third party to transport an absentee or mail-in ballot. Current state law also forbids that practice. Whitmer administration appointees, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have indicated they will follow the Judge’s ruling and will not appeal.