The former US President, Donald Trump, has an unmatched following. He is revered by millions even though he has disappointed many with his policies. In a way, he is a cult leader whose followers can't stand anything bad said about him. For them, he is the "rightful king" even though they live in a democracy.
For the pro-Trump lawyers, who have filed dozens of lawsuits against yet-to-be proven election fraud, the laws are clear. Yet, one of them has managed to cite "Lord of the Rings" as a reference, claiming Trump as the "king of Gondor". With Trump leaving the White House, they say "Gondor has no king".
If you thought that this is just made up and no one in his/her right mind would cite JRR Tolkien's fantasy classic while filing a lawsuit, you would be wrong. Attorney Paul Davis and Kellye SoRelle, a losing Republican candidate for state office, filed a lawsuit in the Waco Division of the Western District of Texas representing small groups of pro-Trump conservatives, known as Latinos for Trump and Blacks for Trump. The court filing asked for a "state of stewardship", meaning the current Congress and the executive branch should be treated as mere managers until Trump returns to take the "crown".
Same Old Claims with A Pinch of Fantasy
The lawsuit provided the same unproven allegations of fraud in the 2020 US election in which Trump lost to Democratic challenger Joe Biden by over 7 million votes. Such allegations were popular among Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani and legal adviser Sidney Powell. The latter's lawsuits also contained places that did not exist. Taking a page out of Powell's book, Davis' lawsuit asked for voiding every vote that was proved legal.
However, with no evidence to back his claim, Davis offered Lord of the Rings as a reference. In the fantasy classic, Gondor had a tragic fate without its rightful king, Aragorn, who was exiled. In his absence, the kingdom was threatened by dark lords — current lawmakers — and orcs — people who voted for Biden and Democrats.
"This analogy is applicable since there is now in Washington DC a group of individuals calling themselves the president, vice-president and Congress who have no rightful claim to govern the American people," said Davis, who lost his job at Goosehead Insurance for posting a picture of him with rioters at the Capitol on January 6.
"Since only the rightful king could sit on the throne of Gondor, a steward was appointed to manage Gondor until the return of the King, known as 'Aragorn', occurred at the end of the story," he added in the lawsuit.
State of Stewardship
With Gondor (read the US) without a king (obviously Trump), the state must be put in a state of stewardship. The stewards will, of course, be from the Trump cabinet to run the country temporarily until the king returns, perhaps from a golfing trip in Florida.
Davis was in anguish as Biden was slated to be inaugurated on January 20. He filed the lawsuit on Monday (January 18) but with courts closed due to Martin Luther King Jr Day, he had just Tuesday to keep Trump at the office or at least an injunction, preventing Biden. But the court did not respond. Hence, Davis filed an additional memo on January 20, urging the court to issue a restraining order to stop Biden.
The lawsuit's absurdity hasn't gone down well among legal experts. Many of them have called for sanctions against attorneys who waste the court's time.
"One thing that Americans learned during the post-election litigation is how little patience courts have for absurd legal arguments," Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, told Salon.
Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California Irvine School of Law, said Davis should be sanctioned. "One might try to chuckle at this lawsuit but it is an abuse of the court and the judicial process. The lawyers should face sanctions and punishment for filing such a frivolous and ridiculous lawsuit," he said.