Unsuccessful GOP Candidates Who Filed the Lawsuit Lack Legal Standing
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a handful of unsuccessful Oregon political candidates who claim the 2022 election was compromised by fraud, and thereby violating their constitutional rights. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman disagreed and ruled “generalized grievances” are insufficient grounds for the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs led by Marc Thielman, the former Alsea School District superintendent who lost the 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary, indicated they would appeal the dismissal.
Thielman, four unsuccessful GOP candidates and state Senator Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, filed a 44-page complaint last October the claimed they and Oregon voters had been disenfranchised. They based their case largely on the film 2,000 Mules that commentator Dinesh D’Souza says claims to show evidence of voter fraud in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The film has been debunked by election officials.
In her opinion, Beckerman focused her ruling on the plaintiff’s lack of legal standing, not the merit of the case itself. “Plaintiffs’ alleged injury – their lack of confidence in Oregon’s election system – is not particularized to the plaintiffs in this litigation,” Beckerman wrote. “Rather, plaintiffs allege that their lack of confidence in Oregon’s election system is shared ‘by all of Oregon’s citizens’ and is ‘a statewide issue.’ As such, plaintiffs have not alleged a particularized injury sufficient to establish standing.”
In oral arguments, counsel for the plaintiffs urged Beckerman to make “an exception” to the established requirement for legal standing because their claims were “novel”. The judge said the plaintiffs concerns about mail-in balloting and voting machines were too generalized and didn’t relate specifically to the plaintiffs who filed the case.
“Plaintiffs have not alleged a particularized injury sufficient to establish standing.”
Beckerman cited legal precedent “that an alleged injury related to a lack of confidence in a voting system is ‘too speculative to establish an injury in fact, and therefore standing.’ Speculative allegations that voting machines may be hackable are insufficient to establish an injury.”
“The Court finds that Plaintiffs’ lack of confidence in Oregon’s voting systems is a generalized grievance not particularized to the plaintiffs in this litigation and too speculative to qualify as a concrete injury,” Beckerman concluded. “Accordingly, Plaintiffs have failed to plead an injury-in-fact sufficient to establish standing and the Court dismisses Plaintiffs’ claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”
Second Election Fraud Case Dismissed
The Oregon Capital Chronicle, which covered the Thielman case, reported another case alleging election misconduct in Washington and Wasco counties was dismissed in February. The named plaintiff in that case, Jennifer Gunter, has appealed.
Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News
Both cases represent attempts to end mail-in balloting and the use of machines to count ballots. Earlier this year, Shasta County officials in California decided to stop using Dominion Voting Systems machines to count paper ballots. Despite a public uproar, county officials agreed to hire seven more staff members to assist with counting ballots cast by the county’s 200,000 population, at a cost of $3 million. Shasta County is the largest government entity to forego voting machines.
Dominion Voting Systems, which has faced intense criticism from right-wing news media, successfully sued Fox News for defamation after the cable network continued to broadcast unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud. Fox News settled out of court by agreeing to pay Dominion $787.5 million for defaming its reputation.
A second defamation suit against Fox News by Smartmatic is pending and seeks $2.7 billion in damages. The judge in the Smartmatic case recently ruled, “Fox News turned a blind eye to a litany of outrageous claims about Smartmatic. Plaintiffs have pleaded facts sufficient to allow a jury to infer that Fox News acted with actual malice.”