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Sabtu, 02 Januari 2021

Latest longshot lawsuit to keep Trump in the White House dismissed - Sydney Morning Herald

Washington: A federal judge on New Year's Day in the US rejected a lawsuit from a Republican congressman who wanted to allow Vice President Mike Pence to reject Electoral College votes for Joe Biden when Congress meets on January 6 to certify his victory over President Donald Trump.

The latest long-shot attempt by Trump's Republican allies to overturn the November 3 election was dismissed by one of Trump's own appointees to the federal bench, Jeremy Kernodle. He ruled that Republican congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas and a slate of Republican electors from Arizona could not show they suffered any personal harm "fairly traceable" to Pence's allegedly unlawful conduct and, therefore, lacked legal standing to bring the case.

Mike Pence asked for the lawsuit seeking to give him the power to block votes to be dropped.

Mike Pence asked for the lawsuit seeking to give him the power to block votes to be dropped. Credit:AP

The standing requirement "helps enforce the limited role of federal courts in our constitutional system. The problem for plaintiffs here is that they lack standing," Kernodle wrote.

A spokesman for Trump referred questions to Pence's office. A spokesman for Pence declined to comment.

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A spokeswoman for Gohmert did not comment.

Trump has refused to concede defeat to Democrat President-elect Biden and has repeatedly falsely claimed the election was tainted by widespread fraud. He and his allies have lost dozens of court efforts seeking to reverse the election results.

Biden beat President Donald Trump by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College and is set to be sworn in on January 20.

Under the Electoral College system, "electoral votes" are allotted to states and the District of Columbia based on their congressional representation.

Gohmert's suit argued that Pence had discretion to decide what votes should count. They also asked the judge to bar Pence from following the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which lays out how objections to votes are handled by Congress.

Some Republicans have said they plan to object to the count of presidential electors next week in Congress. The effort could trigger a lengthy debate in the Senate but has virtually no chance of overturning the results.

A Justice Department lawyer representing Pence urged Kernodle to dismiss the lawsuit saying they had sued the wrong person as they raised "a host of weighty legal issues about the manner in which the electoral votes for president are to be counted".

"The Senate and the House, not the Vice-President, have legal interests that are sufficiently adverse to plaintiffs to ground a case or controversy," Pence's filing said.

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2021-01-02 05:19:00Z
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