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Court Orders GA Vote Count To Continue

Federal rulings a lifeline to Abrams campaign. The Intercept: “Two just-issued federal court rulings will mean potentially thousands of additional votes will be counted in Georgia’s hotly contested elections, possibly affecting the outcomes of races ranging from the high-profile governor’s race to seats for state legislature. Late Monday, a U.S. District Court ordered the state to count provisional ballots that were previously rejected—because the voters’ names weren’t in precinct pollbooks due to shoddy state record keeping—and to extend the vote counting period through this Friday afternoon. On Tuesday, another federal district court judge ordered the state to count absentee ballots that had been rejected because voters didn’t fill in their date of birth when signing their mail-in ballot envelopes. ‘The rulings from last night and this morning were wins for Georgians’ fundamental right—the right to cast a ballot,’ said Lauren Groh-Wargo, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ campaign manager. As of midday Tuesday, it was not clear if the state would appeal the two federal court orders. On Monday, Georgia’s new Secretary of State, Robyn Crittenden, issued new instructions to counties on processing provisional and absentee ballots, but they do not include the court’s latest directives. The 56-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg issued late on Monday means that vote counting by Georgia’s 159 counties would not end Tuesday, when county election boards were slated to report totals to the state.”

FL Lawsuits Challenge Vote Suppression In Recount

Key legal battles to unfold as Florida races toward recount deadline. CNN: “Democrats and Republicans have fought for days in the court of public opinion over the hotly contested recounts in Florida’s Senate and gubernatorial contests. On Wednesday, that fight culminates in a set of major legal battles, with the two sides meeting in a federal court room in Tallahassee. In what both sides admit will be the most consequential ruling to date in the fight over vote counting in Florida, Democrats are asking US District Judge Mark Walker to invalidate a statute that requires voter signatures on provisional and mail ballots to match those on file. Republicans, on the other hand, will seek to keep the statute in place. The lawsuit is just one part of a broader Democratic effort in Florida to fight against certain statutes that have put in dispute ballots they believe should be considered lawfully cast. Democrats, led by top lawyer Marc Elias, have filed at least four lawsuits in federal court, all of which look to either extend the time counties need to recount votes or grow the pool of votes that are legally allowed to be considered by county election officials. ‘All of these cases attempt to bring some common sense to the administration of a recount code that was passed after 2000,’ Elias told reporters on Tuesday, referencing the prolonged presidential recount between Al Gore and George W. Bush.”

Activists, Ocasio-Cortez Demand Climate Action

Youth activists arrested at Pelosi’s office demanding Democrats embrace ‘Green New Deal’. Common Dreams: “Youth climate activists with the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats were arrested on Capitol Hill Tuesday for staging a sit-in at the Washington, D.C. office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—who is expected to serve as the next speaker of the House—to demand that congressional Democrats back a “Green New Deal.’ Long a demand by the climate justice movement—and popularized in the latest election cycle by incoming progressive Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Antonio Delgado of New York, Deb Haaland of New Mexico, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota—a Green New Deal would pair actions to address the global climate crisis with policies to create jobs and a more just economy. Some of the freshly elected representatives even joined the youth activists fighting for such a deal. Both Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib attended a summit with Sunrise activists on Monday, and while Tlaib spoke at a Tuesday morning rally near the Capitol, Ocasio-Cortez showed up at the sit-in at Pelosi’s office. ‘I just want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every single one of you for putting yourselves and your bodies and everything on the line to make sure that we save our planet, our generation, and our future. It’s so incredibly important,’ Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd of activists on Tuesday. ‘We do not have a choice. We have to get to 100 percent renewable energy.'”

Trump Faces Emoluments Lawsuit

Emoluments suit against Trump moves ahead. ProPublica: “This month, a federal judge ruled that Maryland and Washington, D.C., can move ahead with a lawsuit claiming the president has violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bars presidents from accepting payments from foreign and state governments without congressional approval. That means the president may soon have to turn over all sorts of documents related to his businesses. District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine explains that the Emoluments Clause is the ‘country’s first anticorruption law.’ The framers created it to ‘ensure that a president the United States as well as other federal officers would be loyal to the interest of the United States, not to their purses or to their pocketbooks.’ The Department of Justice has fought the case, disputing that the president is violating the Emoluments Clause.”

Dems Score CA House Win, More Likely

Josh Harder defeats GOP U.S. Rep. Denham in California House Race. Time: “First-time candidate Josh Harder defeated four-term Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham Tuesday in California’s farm belt, giving Democrats their fourth pickup of a GOP House seat in California. Harder, 32, a venture capitalist, had anchored his campaign to Denham’s vote against the Affordable Care Act, while arguing that he would push for universal health care in Congress. He also argued that Denham and other Washington Republicans ignored poverty and health care in the agricultural 10th District in California’s Central Valley. As ballot-counting continued, Democrats gained ground in two undecided House races in Orange County, California, raising the possibility of a Democratic sweep of four closely contested congressional races in the one-time Republican stronghold. In the 45th District in Orange County, Democrat Katie Porter jumped into a 261-vote lead over Republican Rep. Mimi Walters, after trailing the incumbent since Election Day. And in the 39th District, anchored in Orange County, Democrat Gil Cisneros tightened the gap with Republican Young Kim. Earlier, Democrats claimed the seats of Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher in the county’s 48th District and retiring Darrell Issa in the 49th District, which cuts through the southern end of the county.”

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