(LifeSiteNews) — A federal judge has set a date to determine whether or not Georgia’s elections system contains serious defects that damage the constitutional rights of citizens.
Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg on November 10 handed down a 135-page ruling in response to a years-long legal challenge that alleges “the current configuration of the state’s election system presents a threat to voters’ right to have their votes counted as cast,” the Associated Press reported.
The bench trial is slated to take place on January 9. A jury will not be convened.
“The Court cannot wave a magic wand in this case to address the varied challenges to our democracy and election system in recent years, including those presented in this case,” Judge Totenberg wrote in her ruling. However, she said that “reasonable, timely discussion and compromise in this case, coupled with prompt, informed legislative action, might certainly make a difference that benefits the parties and the public.”
The ruling handed down by the federal judge has sparked optimism from members of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s camp, including well-known Trump backer and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who celebrated the ruling in a post on X, Newsweek reported.
Many conservatives who have raised doubts about the legitimacy of the election of now-president Joe Biden have been dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” for questioning the integrity of the proceedings, despite the fact that the 2020 general election saw major changes in voting rules in some states in response to the COVID lockdowns and anxieties among some Americans about contracting the virus, novel circumstances that led to an historically large reliance on mail-in ballots that can be less reliable and secure than in-person voting options.
While Totenberg said there were “material facts in dispute” to be cleared up at the January hearing, she said in a footnote that the evidence submitted in the lawsuit “does not suggest that the Plaintiffs are conspiracy theorists of any variety.”
“Indeed, some of the nation’s leading cybersecurity experts and computer scientists have provided testimony and affidavits on behalf of Plaintiffs’ case in the long course of this litigation,” she said.
The lawsuit concerning alleged faults in Georgia’s elections systems was originally filed in 2017 by the pro-election integrity group Coalition for Good Governance and a handful of voters against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and individual members of the State Election Board, the AP reported.
The state later purchased voting machines in 2019 from Dominion Voting Systems, a company that became a household name among those worried about election integrity in the 2020 presidential election. Dominion filed lawsuits against news outlets, including Fox News, that aired content suggesting their machines were connected to vote fraud in the 2020 election. Fox settled with Dominion for $787.5 million earlier this year.
Georgia was one of the major states whose election results were contested by Trump and his supporters after the 2020 election, which saw Biden announced as the elected commander-in-chief following days of ballot-counting.
Trump made a highly publicized phone call to Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, alleging that fraudulent ballots had been counted that tilted the election unfairly to Biden, and asking him to find and toss out at least enough of the allegedly fake votes to reverse his reported loss.
In August of this year, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed criminal charges against Trump and 18 of his allies, arguing that they engaged in “racketeering” and other crimes when they allegedly attempted to overthrow the election in Georgia.
Trump has pleaded not guilty.