Four separate ballot challenge appeals were filed in Georgia in the wake of the decision by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to keep Barack Obama on the Georgia Presidential Preference Primary Ballot, slated for March 6.
Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski, filed a motion in the Superior Court of Fulton County to consolidate the cases. Jablonski argued that all the cases were similar, and that it would be easier for him and for the Secretary of State to litigate one case instead of 4. Mark Hatfield, the attorney for Powell and Swensson, argued against having his two cases consolidated with that of Welden and most vigorously against joining with that of David Farrar, Lax, Judy and Roth (formerly represented by Orly Taitz). Hatfield feels that combination of his legal theories about natural born citizenship with conspiracy theories about identity theft and vital records fraud (Farrar) will prejudice his case.
In a pair of orders issued Thursday, the two judges (Newkirk and Brasher) assigned to Hatfield’s clients (Swensson and Powell respectively) ordered that these cases were related to that of Farrar (et al.) and transferred the cases to Judge Cynthia D. Wright who is assigned to hear the Farrar appeal. On Friday, Judge Schwall ordered the Welden case transferred (I haven’t seen the order but I presume it’s being transferred to Judge Wright also). This isn’t consolidation, yet. Since Welden, Powell and Swensson all argue similar legal theories (albeit with different evidence), it makes perfect sense to consolidate these cases. Pro se plaintiff Farrar, on the other hand, requests the same result but under a very different set of alleged facts and legal theories.