With just a week before Congress meets to officially confirm the results of the Electoral College votes, one of the last minutes’ efforts to topple the November 3 presidential elections, has been dismissed in a Texas Court. The lawsuit which named Vice President, Mike Pence as the defendant, was filed to give Pence the authority to topple the results of the election, NBC News reports.
Pence, who is also the President of the US Senate, will be in charge of Wednesday’s session and will be charged with the task of declaring the next President of the United States. Apart from the final declaration, his role during the session will be largely ceremonial, and he has no right to change the outcome of the proceedings, a rule that the lawsuit sought to change.
The lawsuit is many of the efforts of Republican politicians and the Trump administration to overturn the election results which secured president-elect Joe Biden, a 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump.
The law that stipulates how Wednesday’s proceedings will be conducted was drafted in 1887. The lawsuit, filed by a group led by Louie Gohmert, a Republican representative of Texas, seeks to contravene the 1887 law and give the Vice President the authority to oversee the votes counting and decide which electoral vote to count for each state, CNN writes.
Gohmert and other plaintiffs in the case, a group of Arizona electors who are also Republicans, filed an appeal of the judgment late Friday after Texas U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle dismissed their case. The Texan judge, who President Trump appointed in 2018, stated, in the 13 paged opinion that Gohmert “alleges at most, an institutional injury to the House of Representatives”.
For the Arizona electors, the judge stated that their demand that election results of the state were falsified has nothing to do with Pence and their complaints cannot be addressed through the stipulations of the lawsuit. On Thursday, Pence, through the Department of Justice, asked the judge to throw out the case as the plaintiffs sued the “wrong defendant”. The department described the claims of the lawsuit as “judicially unrecognizable”.
The department also stated that the lawsuit contravenes old protocols that have the backing of the law, something which has no connection to the Vice President, adding that the suit is self-contradictory as it names Pence as a defendant when it seeks to give him authority over the proceedings of the counting.
In nearly 30 years of presidential elections in the United States, Trump is the first president to lose a reelection bid, a fact he has been contesting with evidence-free claims of voter fraud. Regardless of the president’s claims, many election officials and Republican politicians have announced that the November 3 election was conducted fairly and freely. Before his resignation last week, former Attorney General William Barr, stated that appointing a special counsel to review the president’s allegations, was unnecessary.