Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed a federal judge in Georgia on Wednesday for failing to recuse herself from an election-related court case despite “her indisputable bias.”
On Monday, district court Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, sister to former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, issued a restraining order against Georgia’s Muscogee and Ben Hill counties, blocking election officials from removing names from their voter rolls. The Obama-appointed judge ruled that the counties had improperly scrubbed names from their lists of registered voters over unverified change-of-address data.
Prior to the ruling, election officials in Muscogee requested that Gardner recuse herself from the case over her relationship with Abrams, a vocal ally of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
As The Daily Wire reported:
“Judge Gardner is the sister of Stacey Abrams, a Georgia politician and voting rights activist who was the Democratic candidate in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election and has since engaged in various highly-publicized efforts to increase voter registration and turnout for the 2020 general election in Georgia,” the Muscogee motion says.
Attorneys for the Muscogee election board argued that Gardner should be removed from the case because Abrams’ group, Fair Fight, was involved in litigation filed in another federal court against True the Vote over its challenge to voter registration rolls in Georgia.
“Abrams’ interest could therefore be substantially affected by the outcome of this proceeding,” the lawyers argued. “For this reason, Judge Gardner’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned were this case to proceed before her. The Muscogee County Defendants respectfully request that Judge Gardner recuse herself from further involvement in the present case.”
Cruz blasted Gardner’s decision on Wednesday: “This is absurd. This is an obvious case for recusal. For Stacey Abrams’ sister to refuse to recuse — and issue this decision despite her indisputable bias — undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system.”
This is absurd.
This is an obvious case for recusal.
For Stacey Abrams’ sister to refuse to recuse—and issue this decision despite her indisputable bias—undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system. https://t.co/u6jntUwbup
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 30, 2020
Gardner’s decision to bar two counties from purging names from their voter rolls comes ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff to decide control of the Senate. Incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are facing off against their Democratic opponents Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.
Both races are extremely tight. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows the Democratic candidates leading in both races, Warnock above Loeffler by 1.8 points and Ossoff ahead of Perdue by just .8 points.
Recent reports suggest that the Democratic challengers are running out of money in the high-stakes contests, however.
As The Daily Wire reports:
The two Democratic Senate campaigns in Georgia are warning the national party that they’re quickly running out of funds and are unable to keep up with Republican spending ahead of that state’s January runoff elections.
NBC News obtained a memo Monday claiming that “outside GOP spending” has left them struggling to keep up and money isn’t flowing in from the national party fast enough to fight what they believe is an uphill battle to flip Georgia’s two Senate seats.
“Eight days out from Election Day in Georgia’s crucial Senate runoff races, Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are ‘sounding the alarm’ about their ability to keep pace with GOP spending, calling for a ‘significant increase’ in grassroots donations to prevent running out of money,” NBC News reports.