A federal judge on Friday rejected a lawsuit by a Republican congressman who tried to allow Vice President Mike Pence to reject vote by vote on Joe Biden when Congress meets on January 6 to certify his victory over President Donald Trump.
The latest long-range attempt by Trump’s Republican allies to cancel the November 3 election was dismissed by one of Trump’s own nominees for the federal bench, Jeremy Kernodle. He ruled that US Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas and a critique of Republican voters from Arizona could not show that they had suffered any personal harm “quite traceable” to Pence’s alleged illegal conduct and therefore lacked legal status to bring the case.
The standing claim “helps enforce the limited role of the federal courts in our constitutional system. The problem for the plaintiff here is that they lack status,” Kernodle wrote.
A spokesman for Trump asked questions to Pence’s office. A spokesman for Pence declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for Gohmert did not immediately comment.
Trump still refuses to admit
Trump has refused to admit defeat to Democrat Biden and has repeatedly wrongly claimed that the election was tainted by widespread fraud. He and his allies have lost dozens of court efforts to reverse the election results.
Biden beat President Donald Trump by a 306-232 margin in Electoral College and is scheduled to be sworn in on January 20.
Under the Electoral College system, “voting votes” are assigned to states and the District of Columbia based on their congressional representation.
Gohmert’s suit claimed that Pence had the discretion to decide which votes would be counted. They also asked the judge to prevent Pence from complying with the 1887 Electoral Bill, which sets out how objections to votes are handled by Congress.
Some Republicans have said they plan to oppose next week’s presidential election in Congress. Reuters reported this week that the effort could trigger a lengthy debate in the Senate but has virtually no chance of reversing the results.
A Justice Department spokesman representing Pence on Thursday called on Kernodle to dismiss the lawsuit, saying they had sued the wrong person when they raised “a number of important legal issues about how the presidential vote should be counted.”
“The Senate and House, not the Vice President, have legal interests that are negative enough for the plaintiff to file a lawsuit or controversy,” Pence’s filing said.