U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner met with significant criticism for refusing to evade a voting eligibility challenge. Gardner is the sister of Stacey Abrams, who went out of her way to register voters in the state. Many felt it was inappropriate for Gardner to rule the case, compounded by their swift refusal to purge the list of around 4,000 inactive voters. Now it appears that Gardner did not retreat, but reversed himself. A new resolution has confirmed the purge in the face of an appeal.
Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger questioned the original order, which was as fundamentally flawed as Georgian electoral laws in force.
The new order is a significant rollback from the original order, and the change has been praised by Raffensperger’s office. It will allow these voters to request preliminary ballots. Gardner advises, however, that no challenge to their eligibility should be confirmed solely on the basis of data in the National Change of Address register that the Democrats have found unreliable.
At a time of mounting tension over electoral integrity, Gardner’s decision not to reuse himself created further uncertainty. Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight organization donated $ 2.5 million to the Senate Majority PAC. This is the group that Majority Forward set up as a charitable arm, and the donation was the largest donation to the Senate Majority PAC since the November elections.
Hence, Gardner decides on a subject closely related to her sister and originally chose the group that lists her sister’s organization as the largest contributor. This at least leads to a conflict. I can understand Judge Gardner’s view that there is no real conflict. These two very successful women continue to work in the same state. Judge Gardner may have been concerned that rejection would create endless challenges like this in terms of tangential links with her sister’s work. However, she could have reused while emphasizing that this is a unique time and set of circumstances. A refusal could only have been an acknowledgment by the court that their family ties could undermine confidence in the review.