Due to a change in the Georgia state constitution, government officials lose sovereign immunity on January 1, 2021, and one voter integrity activist has already claimed a state at being the first person to file a lawsuit under the new guidelines.
“Due to a change in the Georgia state constitution, government officials lose sovereign immunity on January 1. I am organizing to sue personally in civil court any elected official who does not correctly execute their duties in the run-off election,” Matt Braynard wrote.
Georgia Amendment 2, to Allow Residents to Seek Declaratory Relief from Certain Laws Amendment, was on the ballot in Georgia as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 3, 2020. It was approved.
According to Ballotpedia:
“This measure waives the state’s sovereign immunity, thereby allowing residents to seek declaratory relief through the superior courts from state or local laws that are found to violate the U.S. Constitution, state Constitution, or state law. Under the amendment, a court cannot award damages, attorney’s fees, or other costs of litigation unless authorized by the state legislature. After granting declaratory judgment, a court would be able to enjoin (block) the law or act in question. The state’s waiver of sovereign immunity applies to acts occurring on or after January 1, 2021.”
This proposal waives state and local sovereign immunity to allow citizens to sue the State of Georgia, its departments and other agencies, and its local governments in superior courts and authorizes superior courts to order state and local officers and employees to cease violations of the Georgia Constitution, the laws of the State of Georgia, or the United States Constitution, beginning with violations occurring on or after January 1, 2021. It requires that such suits be brought only against the State of Georgia, or in the case of a local government, against the specific local government. It requires superior courts to dismiss any such lawsuit that names any individual state or local public officer or employee as a defendant. It maintains the ability of superior courts to dismiss such suits based on other appropriate legal or equitable grounds or limitation on review in superior court. It prohibits any type of monetary award, including attorney’s fees or costs of litigation, unless authorized by an Act of the Georgia General Assembly. It does not prohibit the General Assembly from further waiving certain other immunities provided for under Georgia’s Constitution. However, it does not waive any immunity provided for by the United States Constitution. It amends Article I, Section II, Paragraph V of the Georgia Constitution by rendering the current text subparagraph (a) and adding a new subparagraph (b).
A copy of this entire proposed constitutional amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection.
The legislature can put a proposed amendment on the ballot upon a two-thirds majority vote in both the legislative chambers. Constitutional amendments must be approved by a majority of the electorate.
This amendment was sponsored by Republican Representative Andrew Welch. On February 20, 2020, the state House passed HR 1023 unanimously. On June 15, 2020, the state Senate unanimously approved an amended version of the measure, which was then approved unanimously in the House on June 16, 2020.
Braynard says he has already collected the funding he needs for the lawuists.
“I gave the state all of my data. They did not invite me to that hearing or provide an explanation for how any of it is wrong. We found 15,700 voter records matched to permanent, out of state moves filed with a government agency + thousands more registered in another state. Combined and deduped, we’re looking at 21,000, not even counting those illegally registered at boxes, etc.”
I will be following any developments from Braynard’s actions.