Trump’s lawsuits to stop election certification aren’t just meritless, argues Attorney General Dana Nessel, but also racist.
DETROIT, Mich.—The election results in the predominately Black city of Detroit will be certified, a court ruled Monday. The Michigan Court of Appeals unanimously rejected an appeal from the campaign of President Donald Trump attempting to block that certification.
Republican challengers who observed the counting of absentee ballots at the besieged TCF Center in Detroit claimed fraud occurred in city ballots in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. Republican-appointed Judge Timothy Kenny, however, said the allegations weren’t credible. He called the request to block certification of the results as requesting an “unprecedented exercise of judicial activism” from the court.
The case was one of three lawsuits against the election in Michigan by the Trump campaign to be dismissed.
And the focus on Detroit’s voting results may carry racist undertones, argued Attorney General Dana Nessel. She noted that election results were challenged by the Trump campaign in Detroit, where Black people make up roughly 80% of the population, but not in large counties where white people are the majority.
Nessel said she believes there’s an underlying theme in the lawsuits that “Black people are incompetent.” She said the challenges are frivolous.
“Really the themes that we see, that persist, are this: Black people are corrupt, Black people are incompetent, and Black people can’t be trusted. That’s the narrative that is continually espoused by the Trump campaign and their allies in these lawsuits,” Nessel said during a press call.
Attempts to block election results in states Biden won have been launched across the country by the Trump campaign, claiming without any evidence that there has been rampant voter fraud. Those attempts have failed to produce evidence and the cases have largely been dismissed.
Those, too, tended to focus on Black-majority cities. Black voters helped elect Biden and defeat Trump, and his charges of corruption and illegality largely fall on Black election workers.
“From what I can see, Trump does not wish to contradict the will of all the people,” wrote Solomon Jones in the Philadelphia Enquirer. “He just wants to go against the will of those who didn’t vote for him. And given the stark and prominent role of racism in his short political career, I think Black people are his prime target.”
Jones pointed to Detroit and Philadelphia as Black-majority cities where Trump has alleged corruption, as well as Georgia. In Georgia, the governor and secretary of state are Republicans, but many vote counters were Black. Trump said Democrats were stealing Georgia’s election.
“In short, Donald Trump is blaming his loss on Black workers—the same people who risked their very lives to count votes in the middle of a pandemic,” Jones wrote. “The same people who are disproportionately affected by Trump’s failure to handle the pandemic. The same people who keep saving America’s democracy, despite receiving little in return.”
And even should some of the lawsuits proceed, their impact on the outcome of the election is not likely to be significant. In fact, legal analysis from law communicator and practicing attorney Devin Stone on his YouTube series Legal Eagle found that in total, the Trump campaign’s lawsuits nationwide are unlikely to have any impact on the election whatsoever. Most, he said, lack evidence for courts to consider, and all challenge too few votes to change the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
“There are just too many states that would need to flip,” Stone explained. “At the end of the day, none of the cases involved challenges to enough [ballots] in any of the states to change the results, let alone change the results in several of the states.”
Detroit is expected to certify its election results Tuesday
The Associated Press contributed to this report.