Thanks to the 30 plus MAFA supporters who attended the exciting and momentous hearing of the MAFA lawsuit in Federal Court with Judge Van Tatenhove this past Friday! Kentucky’s Michael Hamilton and lead MAFA attorney Tom Renz of Ohio co-presented, making an excellent case as to why our challenge of the Governor’s abuse of his emergency powers should have standing in Federal Court. It was an inspiring and historically important day and the first time that a full hearing was granted, allowing “12b arguments” (see video segments to understand full impact) regarding standing.

Judge Van Tatenhove acknowledged and appreciated the full courtroom and was respectful, deferential and asked great questions of our legal team, whom he engaged for the vast majority of the nearly two hour hearing. Mike Hamilton and Tom Renz were extraordinarily well prepared, well spoken and made an excellent constitutional case for standing. Central to the discussion was whether the appropriate remedy for a disagreement on policy is indeed in the judicial branch or rather resides within the political process. Our legal team argued convincingly that Federal Court is the appropriate venue when constitutional rights have been violated by an executive who has bypassed other branches of government and arbitrarily and indefinitely extended his own emergency powers.

Expert witness Dr. Lee Merritt (CV attached) was on standby via Zoom in the courtroom, but it was ultimately decided that Friday’s hearing was not the appropriate time for hearing expert witnesses. Although disappointing, all of those present were hopeful that this may have been an indicator of the Judge’s intentions to hear witness testimony in the future.

The MAFA legal team said that the importance of this hearing should not be underestimated, and that it is a significant step toward the all-important goal of getting discovery. We now await Judge Van Tatenhove’s decision on whether the case proceeds.

Our group also enjoyed a 45 minute post-hearing debrief on the courthouse lawn with the attorneys, which you can find at the following link. We have noted key moments worth listening to below, with special emphasis on those bolded and asterisked. We ask that you not share this broadly.

Post-hearing debrief from MAFA legal team on courthouse lawn: total 43 minutes. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wc23j1PVLQmuKDP7gYCy55UVGyTP4xSR/view?usp=sharing

Following minute marks of note: 45 sec-min 2:10; 4:20 to 5:20; 6:05 to 8:05; 8:45 to 11:45; *12:13 to 15; *15:57 to 19:46; 22:22 to 22:52; 23:05 to 23:58; *25:23 – 27:35 and mention of importance of Brueggemann ruling from 33:10 to 34:28.

You will also find a link to the original Motion for the Temporary Restraining Order, our Reply to their Response, and the important Exhibits A-D our team was able to get into the record. The importance of getting this information into the record before a thorough and fair judge also can not be overestimated.

Sharable link to folder with five documents filed for July 23rd, 2021 Federal Court Hearing including Motion for TRO, Reply to Response, and 4 Exhibits including the AFLDs case, Dr. McCullough Declaration, Dr. Lee Merritt CV and Covid Death Cert Protocol Change: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AuKjU-p9nB0FHOgiGyBF9EgH8KJOHKhf?usp=sharing