Michigan judge rejects demand to block certification of Biden win in Detroit


(CNN)A Michigan state judge has rejected an attempt by two poll challengers to block the certification of a Joe Biden win in Detroit, which helped carry his victory in the state. The judge also denied the request for an audit of the election.

The case has been among a series of attempts by Republicans to delay President-elect Joe Biden’s win in key states and hand an Electoral College victory to President Donald Trump, by blocking or overriding popular vote results.

“It would be an unprecedented exercise of judicial activism for this Court to stop the certification process of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers,” wrote Chief Judge Timothy Kenny.

    Attorney David Fink, representing Detroit, said at a hearing Wednesday that blocking the finalization of Michigan’s votes would either knock the state out of the Electoral College, kicking the selection of the president to the US House of Representatives, or would allow the Republican-held state legislature to try to seat its own slate of electors.

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    Earlier this month, Judge Kenny also denied a request in a similar lawsuit to stop the certification of election results in Detroit, noting there was no evidence that oversight procedures had not been followed.

    CNN has projected Biden as the winner of the state by almost 3% over Trump, with nearly a 150,000 vote lead.

    The Trump campaign has a separate lawsuit open in federal court that makes a similar attempt to slow down the certification of the state’s vote for Biden. That case is in its earliest stage.

    Appeals court rejects Pennsylvania mail-in ballot challenge

    Also on Friday, a Republican congressional candidate from Pennsylvania lost a case on appeal that he had brought just before Election Day over ballots in Pennsylvania that arrived late.

    The issue of the legality of those ballots was already at the US Supreme Court — and still is there — but Jim Bognet and voters had added to the effort in their own federal case that challenged those ballots.

    The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals decided the voters and Bognet, who lost his race in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, didn’t have the ability to sue and had gone to court too close to the election, rejecting their case. The appellate decision was in line with the lower court’s ruling in the case.

    The ruling on Friday also appears to block voters from making broad, theoretical claims under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution about the possible dilution of their votes.

      Lawyers representing Republicans in other weak suits since Election Day have tried to make similar constitutional arguments to block Biden’s win in several states, including Pennsylvania.

      This story has been updated with the Pennsylvania ruling.