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Trump Appointed Judge Tosses Last-Minute Lawsuit Claiming Pence Can Ignore Electoral College Votes

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A federal judge on Friday rejected a last-minute lawsuit —filed by a Texas Republican congressman and a group who baselessly declared themselves to be “alternate electors” from Arizona— that challenges President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, as Congress moves toward finalizing the results of the 2020 election, NPR reports.

As noted by NPR, “the January certification of states’ electoral votes, overseen by the vice president, is usually considered a formality.” But a lawsuit filed last week by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, claimed that Pence has the sole power to overturn the election results.”

Gohmert and the self-proclaimed “electors” from Arizona claim they represent the true wishes of the voters and argue that when confronted with competing slates of electors, the Constitution gives Vice President Mike Pence the power to choose which electors to certify.

They argue that the 12th Amendment gives Pence, not the states, sole discretion to determine which among competing slates of electors may be counted.

Gohmert “alleges at most an institutional injury to the House of Representatives,” the judge wrote. The other plaintiffs — the wannabe Arizona electors — “allege an injury that is not fairly traceable to” Pence.

In a court filing, Pence himself asked the judge to reject the lawsuit because he doesn’t have the authority to do what the plaintiffs claim.