Sidney Powell’s efforts on behalf of Donald Trump didn’t fare well after the former president’s 2020 defeat, and a Reuters report suggests the attorney is still suffering related setbacks.

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the bulk of sanctions imposed against Sidney Powell and other lawyers who sued to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Michigan. The 6th Circuit US Court of Appeals found that the allegations of electoral fraud by Powell and others had pushed were baseless, frivolous or even refuted by their own filings.

In case anyone needs a refresher, let’s visit our earlier coverage and review how we arrived at this point.

It’s no secret that in the wake of Trump’s loss, conspiracy-minded lawyers filed misguided lawsuits, hoping to help the former president. It’s also no secret that those cases failed spectacularly.

What’s less appreciated is the fact that the demise of those cases was not the final word on the subject. In Michigan, for example, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration and the city of Detroit sought penalties against several attorneys — including prominent Trump allies Powell and L. Lin Wood — who filed an outlandish anti-election case. In 2021, a federal judge agreed and sanctioned the conspiratorial lawyers.

US District Judge Linda Parker concluded, “[D]espite the haze of confusion, commotion and chaos counsel intentionally attempted to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaintiffs’ attorneys have scorned their oath, flouted the rules and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way. As such, the court is duty-bound to grant the motions for sanctions.”

Not surprisingly, the ruling was appealed, but late last week, the 6th Circuit agreed that conspiratorial allegations were baseless, and while the sanctions were partially rolled back, they remained largely intact.

If this outcome sounds familiar at all, it’s not your imagination. As we discussed two weeks ago, Michigan Republican Party Chair Kristina Karamo was recently sanctioned for filing a baseless anti-election lawsuit, and she has plenty of companies: Arizona’s Mark Finchem, another failed right-wing secretary of state candidate, has been sanctioned twice for filing frivolous election-related cases. Also in Arizona, Kari Lake’s lawyers were ordered to pay sanctions for making “unequivocally false” election claims in court.

Trump himself has also been sanctioned for filing frivolous litigation.

Given the relevant details, this is encouraging. Courts should certainly exercise great caution before discouraging worthwhile litigation, but there’s also value in punishing those who clog the courts with cases that never should’ve been filed.

Courtrooms are not supposed to be abused by those filing frivolous cases in pursuit of partisan theatrics. The judiciary is not a toy. There is a reasonable expectation that all litigation, even if ultimately unsuccessful, has at least some merit.

When partisans file misguided cases in pursuit of scoring points, it’s hardly unreasonable to expect them to pay a price.

This post revises us related earlier coverage.

By zonxe