Minneapolis attorney faces possible discipline for election lawsuit

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Minneapolis-based attorney Erick Kaardal is facing possible discipline after a federal judge blasted him for bringing a lawsuit challenging votes from Wisconsin and four other states.

Kaardal’s lawsuit argued state legislatures should have met after the election to certify Electoral College votes, but in an order filed Monday, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg wrote that the argument "lies somewhere between a willful misreading of the Constitution and fantasy."

"It would be risible were its target not so grave: the undermining of a democratic election for President of the United States," Boasberg wrote in his order denying a motion for preliminary injunction.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS called, emailed and tried to contact Kaardal at his offices in Minneapolis on Friday but he didn’t respond to requests for comment.

After the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed on Thursday, the judge ordered Kaardal to show cause as to why he should not be referred for possible discipline.

"Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures," Boasberg wrote.

By some counts, President Donald Trump and his allies have filed and lost more than 60 lawsuits in state and federal courts, but Hamline University Professor David Schultz said the threat of possible discipline against a lawyer in one of those cases is significant.

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"These are some of the harshest words I’ve seen come out of a judge in a long time," Schultz said. "Basically, what the court is saying is you have violated your basic code of ethical conduct by bringing cases that you knew or should have known had no merit whatsoever."

Kaardal now has two weeks to file an argument with the court about why he should not face discipline. The attorney is well-known for filing lawsuits against state and federal government entities – he recently sued the state of Minnesota and Governor Tim Walz over mask mandates and business closures during the pandemic.

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Schultz said the recent rioting at the U.S. Capitol may have drawn even more attention to the questionable merits of lawsuits such as the one brought by Kaardal.

"You can’t help but think the judge watched what happened on Wednesday and might – we’re speculating, of course – might be thinking and saying that lawsuits like this is what brought about what happened on Wednesday," Schultz said. "Maybe this becomes a message going forward that it should be voters, not judges, it should be voters and not lawyers who decide elections and maybe that’s the message that comes out of this."