LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Nevada Republican Party’s electors have asked the Supreme Court of Nevada to disqualify one justice because he congratulated the secretary of state on a successful election.
Attorneys for the campaign are seeking to have the court reverse a district court judge’s decision to not overturn Nevada’s presidential election result. In his ruling Friday, Judge James Russell said the lawyers failed to prove the election was swayed by fraudulent or illegal votes.
In the state case, lawyers representing the Republican Party’s electors and the president’s campaign said:
- 1,506 votes cast in the election came from dead voters
- 2,468 votes were cast by voters who changed their address to another state or country
- 42,284 voters voted twice
- About 20,000 voters voted in Nevada without a Nevada mailing address
The evidence, which included 20 binders-worth of materials, was submitted to the court under seal, meaning it could not be viewed publicly. Due to the ongoing court fight, it continues to be shielded from public view.
Two weeks ago, the state supreme court certified the election results, giving President-elect Joe Biden Nevada’s six electoral votes. Biden won by more than 2% and 33,000 votes. Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, presented the results to the justices, which is protocol per state statute.
During the brief ceremony, Justice James Hardesty commented about Cegavske and her office’s work.
“I just want to commend the secretary of state and her office for the extraordinary work they did under very difficult circumstances,” Hardesty said, according to court documents. “They are to be congratulated for carrying out an extraordinarily successful election. The turnout is incredible.”
Lawyers for the president’s re-election campaign allege Hardesty showed bias and “prejudice for or against one of the parties to the action.” In the same filing on Tuesday, the lawyers write other justices also made comments and that Hardesty’s comments were not discovered until last weekend.
Hardesty was elected to the court in 2004. Judges in Nevada run as nonpartisan.
In court filings, Hardesty responded to the request for his disqualification by saying he was partaking in a statutory process, and his “courteous and professional” comments show bias or predisposition in the case.
Five other justices agreed with Hardesty, and the request to have him removed was denied. On Monday, Justice Elissa Cadish voluntarily recused herself, writing, “While I do not have personal bias or prejudice regarding this case or the parties, I believe my impartiality might reasonably be questioned based on my personal relationships with several of the named respondents. Therefore, I recuse myself in this matter.”
A hearing in court has not been scheduled. Federal law requires states to inform Congress on how its electors will vote on the so-called Safe Harbor Day, which was Tuesday. The electors will convene to cast their votes on Monday, Dec. 14.