Appeals court upholds dismissal of US election fraud case
DENVER (AP) — A Denver-based federal appeals court has agreed with a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit that claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump and had been rigged by Dominion Voting Systems, Facebook (now Meta) and others.
Friday’s opinion from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, first reported by Colorado Politics, found that eight plaintiffs from across the U.S. had no standing to assert that the outcome of the election “violated the constitutional rights of every registered voter in the United States.”
The lawsuit relied on baseless conspiracy theories spread by Trump and his supporters that the election was stolen in favor of Joe Biden. Among others, it named Facebook and Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, whose election machines remain the focus of some of the most fevered — and continuing — unfounded speculation about voting fraud.
U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter dismissed the lawsuit in April 2021, finding the plaintiffs failed to show they had suffered specific injuries due to the election result and thus had no standing to bring the lawsuit.
The appeals court agreed and dismissed the plaintiffs’ request to make the lawsuit a class action on behalf of all registered U.S. voters.
Neureiter in November ordered two lawyers who filed the lawsuit to pay more than $180,000 in attorney’s fees for the defendants — but delayed the order pending the appeal.
Telephone messages seeking comment from the lawyers, Gary D. Fielder and Ernest J. Walker, on Tuesday were not immediately returned.
The penalties included $62,930 payable to Dominion and $50,000 to Facebook, which the lawsuit alleged censored conservative voices leading up to the election.
Repeated audits and recounts found no significant fraud in the presidential election. Trump’s own administration said the election was clean.