A U.S. judge on Friday rejected a lawsuit filed by a Texas lawmaker and other Republicans against Vice President Mike Pence who is set to preside Wednesday over a joint session of Congress to formalize the results of the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle said Rep. Louie Gohmert and other Republicans who filed suit lack standing to bring the legal action seeking to overturn the election of President-elect Joe Biden.
Gohmert's brief claimed Pence can overrule the Electoral College and effectively decide the 2020 presidential election himself
''Under the Constitution,'' Gohmert claims in a brief, Pence ''has the authority to conduct that proceeding as he sees fit. He may count elector votes certified by a state’s executive, or he can prefer a competing slate of duly qualified electors. He may ignore all electors from a certain state. That is the power bestowed upon him by the Constitution.''
He adds that the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution ''unequivocally entrusts to him [Pence] all the prerogatives and rights to determine what electoral votes to count.''
The congressman’s lawyers claim that a court striking down a century-old law that keeps Congress in control of counting electoral votes is the best solution for resolving ongoing contention over the election.
On Wednesday, the Electoral College tally giving Biden the election and the presidency is to be accepted formally by Congress, a typically ceremonial process. This year, though, potent allegations of widespread voter fraud leveled by President Donald Trump have spurred questions about every step of the election process.
Indeed, dozens of Republican congressmen and at least one senator, Josh Hawley, threaten to bog down the approval, even if they ultimately can't derail it and upend the election outcome.
On Thursday, weighing in on Pence's behalf, Justice Department lawyers urged the judge to dismiss Gohmert's case. They said he should have sued the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives if he disagrees with the established way that Electoral College votes are counted.
According to news reports by DailyMail.com and The New York Times, that shocked and disappointed Trump, who himself called Pence to express his "suprise" over DOJ's intervention against the legal case.
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