ATLANTA — UPDATE: The lawsuit has been rejected, according to court records. Reports indicated the suit's motion for a preliminary injunction was denied on grounds of standing and jurisdiction.
According to the court records, a written order "will be forthcoming today."
Original story below
The latest attempt by President Donald Trump and his legal advocates to overturn Georgia's election results will be heard by a federal judge today.
A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. over Zoom in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Judge Mark Cohen, an Obama appointee, will hear a lawsuit that was filed New Year's Eve.
The suit rests on two central claims - that an agreement between Georgia Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger and Democratic groups earlier this year to settle lawsuits over how signature matching is done is unconstitutional, and that an earlier lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court was not properly handled.
The first claim has been heard by the Northern Georgia district court before. In dismissing a lawsuit brought by attorney Lin Wood just after the November general election, Judge Steven Grimberg affirmed the so-called "consent decree" as legal.
Recognizing that Secretary Raffensperger is “the state’s chief election official,” the General Assembly enacted legislation permitting him (in his official capacity) to “formulate, adopt, and promulgate such rules and regulations, consistent with law, as will be conducive to the fair, legal, and orderly conduct of primaries and elections.” The Settlement Agreement is a manifestation of Secretary Raffensperger’s statutorily granted authority.
On the second matter, federal courts typically do not have jurisdiction over state courts. It's also not clear why Gov. Brian Kemp and Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger would be appropriate parties to sue over such a matter.
That earlier lawsuit, brought by Trump and Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer, was originally held up because they asked for a special kind of judge to hear the case, known as an administrative law judge.
But they mishandled that request, and then appealed directly to the state Supreme Court when they were assigned a regular judge. The state Supreme Court said it had no jurisdiction to hear the case, because it had not yet been heard in lower courts.
The case then sat, because Fulton County Superior Court could not proceed until the appeal that had been made to the state Supreme Court was withdrawn. Lawyers for Trump and Shafer did not do that until last week.
The suit has since been moved to the Georgia 7th Judicial Administrative District, in the northwest corner of the state.
The federal lawsuit that will be heard today asks for Georgia's election results to be de-certified.
It's an open legal question of, even if that were to happen, it would have any effect on Electoral College votes that have already been cast. The suit does not make any request for relief related to the Electoral College votes themselves.