With President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration approaching, GOP members sue VP Mike Pence in another attempt to overturn the Democrat’s election win. Republicans led by Texas Representative Louie Gohmert and Arizona Republican chair Kelli Ward filed suit in Texas. Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, will handle the suit. It remains unclear if Kernodle will approve a request for an expedited judgment.
Electoral Count Act of 1887
The suit targets Vice President Mike Pence in his capacity in the upcoming January 6 session in Congress. Pence will preside over the meeting to count electoral votes and confirm the winner.
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The lawsuit asserts that the 1887 law governing the session, the Electoral Count Act, unconstitutionally prevents Pence from exercising total authority to choose which votes to count. Consequently, Gohmert and his associates want the court to grant Pence the authority on Jan. 6 to effectively overturn Trump’s defeat in key battleground states.
The suit insists that “Under the Twelfth Amendment, Defendant Pence alone has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to open and permit the counting of the electoral votes for a given state, and where there are competing slates of electors, or where there is an objection to any single slate of electors, to determine which electors’ votes, or whether none, shall be counted.” The GOP suit alleges that Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all produced dubious election results. As such, Pence should have the authority to select electors from those states who can cast votes for Trump instead of Biden.
Chances are Slim to None
Election law experts were dismissive of the lawsuit’s prospects for success. Edward Foley, Ohio State University law professor, says the suit lacks understanding. “The idea that the Vice President has sole authority to determine whether or not to count electoral votes submitted by a state, or which of competing submissions to count, is inconsistent with a proper understanding of the Constitution,” he noted. Also, Foley and other experts believe that there’s a strong possibility Kernodle, a Trump appointee, will find Gohmert’s suit lacking a legal right to sue. “I’m not at all sure that the court will get to the merits of this lawsuit, given questions about the plaintiffs’ standing to bring this kind of claim, as well as other procedural obstacles,” Foley said.
Election law expert Rick Hasen simply wrote that “no, this won’t work.” Iowa Law professor and election law expert Derek T. Muller found a fatal flaw. He said the suit wrongly states that the Arizona legislature endorsed the pro-Trump slate of electors who assembled at the state capitol. Muller explained that the Trump electors were given permission to step foot, which is not an endorsement of their activity.
All Eyes on Pence
Meanwhile, as GOP members sue VP Pence, the latter finds himself under the spotlight. Trump’s diehards are hounding Pence to do more to help his Commander-in-Chief. Even Trump himself wants him to use his role to take over the Electoral College proceeding. Trump retweeted a supporter’s post calling for Pence to refuse to certify Biden’s win. Also, he complained that Pence isn’t doing enough to help him overturn the election results.
Pence himself or his office has yet to issue a statement on the matter. While he met with several GOP officials seeking to overturn election results, he has not given a public statement on the matter. The Vice President has not divulged any plans on how he intends to preside over the January 6 session.
Objecting to Biden’s Confirmation
Meanwhile, some House Republicans committed to objecting to Biden’s confirmation. Should they manage to convince a Senator to join them, Congress must open itself to debate. However, once the votes to reject electors begins, the Democrat-majority House will guarantee the motion will not pass. Several Senate Republicans may also refuse to join the call to reject the electors.
Watch the NBC news clip reporting Texas Rep Louie Gohmert and other Republicans sue Vice President Mike Pence in a bid to overturn election results:
Do you agree with the strategy where GOP members sue VP Pence? Will the Gohmert suit prosper before the courts? Or is this another misguided attempt that will tax the court’s patience? Tell us what you think of this lawsuit and other efforts to derail Biden’s confirmation. Leave your comment on the section below!