by Scott McClallen
A Michigan judge has tossed a lawsuit alleging Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson illegally accepted private money to swing the 2020 presidential election in favor of President Joe Biden.
First filed in October 2020, the litigation claimed that then-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg swung the 2020 election in favor of President Joe Biden by awarding millions of dollars to local governments in Democrat strongholds via his Chicago-based nonprofit the Center for Technology & Civic Life.
The Center Square previously reported that CTCL contributed $400 million nationwide into the 2020 election.
The suit alleged those grants awarded violated the Equal Protection clause, saying that CTCL didn’t fund Republican counties. The lawsuit claimed that Benson should have prevented local election officials from accepting the grants or required them to return the funds.
In October 2020, Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray denied a preliminary injunction. Still, he directed discovery to investigate the claim that grant money was funding the outcome of elections in certain jurisdictions.
After discovery, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office learned that each named plaintiff lived in a jurisdiction that received grant funding.
In December, the AG’s office filed a motion for summary disposition, arguing plaintiffs lacked standing. Court of Claims Judge Thomas Cameron agreed and dismissed their claims.
“To that end, plaintiffs fail to allege or establish a harm or injury that is different from the citizenry at large,” Cameron wrote.“Notably, it appears to be undisputed at this time that no counties or jurisdictions – in particular, the jurisdictions in which plaintiffs reside – were denied access to the funds at issue.”
Cameron wrote that the plaintiff has no standing since CTCL also funded their counties.
“In other words, without the targeted access to funds that was once alleged, plaintiffs fail to state an injury that is different from that of the citizenry at large,” Cameron wrote. “And in all other respects, the complaint contains allegations that are not unique to plaintiffs or that are not otherwise distinguishable from any concerns that might be held by the public at large.”
Nessel welcomed the decision.
“From the beginning, this lawsuit was filed in an attempt to undermine the integrity of our elections and results,” Nessel said in a statment. “We may be more than two years beyond the 2020 presidential election, but our team remains committed to defending the Secretary of State against baseless allegations stemming from it. And as we get closer to this November, let this outcome serve as a reminder of our dedication to upholding and defending democracy.”
Benson applauded the dismissal of the “meritless” lawsuit.
“This case was yet another example of the misuse and abuse of our legal system to wrongly sow seeds of doubt about the integrity of our elections,” Benson said in a statement. “It was meritless and misguided and the court rightly noted the ability for nonpartisan nonprofit organizations to work directly with local communities to ensure they have the support they need to protect and count every valid vote. It further underscores the need for the legislature and federal government to provide sustained funding for elections, so that clerks across the state and political spectrum have consistent and sufficient funds to run accessible and secure elections.”
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Mark Zuckerberg” by Mark Zuckerberg.