Last Updated on October 29, 2022
The Supreme Court of Georgia found on Tuesday that citizens and voters of the Peach State have legal standing to sue government election officials who violate Georgia law.
“Georgia voters were unjustly denied their Equal Protection and Due Process rights to ensure only legal voters were counted in the 2020 election,” Election integrity group VoterGA co-founder Garland Favorito said in a statement made on Thursday.
The decision was written by Nels S.D. Peterson, the Presiding Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
The court overturned, in part, the initial rulings made in the cases of Sons of Confederate Veterans et. al, vs. Henry County Board of Commissioners and Sons of Confederate Veterans et al, v. Newton County Board of Commissioners. Both rulings were made in lower courts.
In both aforementioned cases, the plaintiffs had sued their respective county boards of commissioners for an illegal vote which was passed to remove a statue which was protected under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A. 50-3-1).
“Georgia has long recognized that members of a community, whether as citizens, residents, taxpayers, or voters, may be injured when their local government fails to follow the law. Government at all levels has a legal duty to follow the law,” Presiding Justice Peterson wrote in his ruling. “A local government owes that legal duty to its citizens, residents, taxpayers, or voters (i.e. community stakeholders), and the violation of that legal duty constitutes an injury that our case law has recognized as conferring standing to those community stakeholders, even if the plaintiff suffered no individualized injury.”
“Because the Georgia Constitution is the source of the judicial power of state courts, federal standing requirements do not control our analysis,” Peterson stated.
“It is unsurprising that we have extended this logic to ‘voters,’ because they, like citizens and taxpayers, are community stakeholders. Voters may be injured when elections are not administered according to the law or when elected officials fail to follow the voters’ referendum for increased taxes to find a particular project, so voters may have standing to vindicate public rights.”
-Presiding Justice Nels S.D. Peterson – Supreme Court of Georgia
-October 25th, 2022
The Justice affirmed that the State of Georgia need not follow the federal code for determination of the legal standing of plaintiffs who are citizens of the Empire State of the South.
“Nothing in the Georgia Constitution requires that we follow federal law on standing, even though in our more recent history, this Court has uncritically adopted federal jurisprudence on the question of standing,” Peterson added.
The example Justice Peterson gave was the case, Black Voters Matter Fund Inc. v. Kemp (313 Ga. 392), a recent case in which the Georgia Supreme Court “announced a new Georgia standing rule by ‘adopting wholesale’ [the] federal precedent.”
The decision by the Peach State’s supreme court confirms arguments made in the Fulton County Counterfeit Ballot case, called Favorito et al, v. Wan et al, originally called Favorito et al, v. Cooney et al. The was dismissed after 10 months of hearings for lack of standing because county officials hired criminal defense lawyers in order to prevent the inspection of ballots by petitioners.
Favorito v. Wan currently has a pending writ of certiorari, or a direct petition for the Supreme Court of the U.S. to hear the case.
The Supreme Court is “usually not under any obligation to hear these cases, and it usually only does so if the case could have national significance, might harmonize conflicting decisions in the federal Circuit courts, and/or could have precedential value.”
At least four of the nine Justices must vote to accept a case such that it can be accepted. The Court typically accepts less than 2% of the cases that it is asked to review annually.
“We will do everything within our power to overturn the bogus ruling we received and preserve all 2020 election ballots,” Favorito added.