According to HuffPost, David Shafer, Shawn Still and Cathleen Latham argued they were following precedent set by Democrats during the 1960 election when they signed certificates claiming to be legitimate electors in the 2020 election. The false electors made the argument as part of an attempt to move their cases out of Georgia and into federal court.
In court papers filed on Thursday (September 7), Willis shut down the precedent argument.
“Repeated invocations to ‘precedent’ allegedly set in Hawaii during the 1960 presidential election misses the mark by a wide margin,” Willis wrote. “First, and this principle hardly seems necessary to explain, actions that did not result in prosecution 60 years ago — in a different jurisdiction, with different election code and criminal statutes, presided over by different prosecuting agencies, and with differing substantive evidence of criminal intent — provides zero protection for Defendant Shafer and his co-defendants who conspired to advance the 2020 fraudulent elector scheme in Georgia.”
“Second, the factual situations are so readily distinguishable as to make the comparison meaningless," the DA added.
During the 1960 election, Richard Nixon appeared to have narrowly won the state of Hawaii, prompting the governor to certify the results in his favor. However, a recount indicated that John F. Kennedy may have defeated Nixon. Hawaii electors in favor of Kennedy were advised to sign certificates to ensure their votes would be counted if the recount changed the presidential election result.
Willis noted in her argument that Hawaii Democratic electors met amid the official recount. However, when the false electors met in 2020, “two recounts had already been completed, each of which confirmed a margin of victory for then-candidate Biden of thousands of votes,” Willis wrote.
The DA asked the court to reject false electors' requests to move their cases to federal court.