‘Tremendous victory’: Colorado elector says dismissal of Gohmert suit against Pence a win for rule of law
Texas congressman says ruling implies street violence necessary
Vice President Mike Pence in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Oct. 3, 2019. (Jerod MacDonald-Evoy/Arizona Mirror)
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit that aimed to expand the powers of Vice President Mike Pence and open the possibility of overturning President-elect Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 win.
A member of the Electoral College from Colorado, Alan Kennedy, who with other electors in the state and around the country cast his vote for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris last month, sought to join the case in support of Pence, the defendant. On Thursday, Kennedy submitted a motion to join the lawsuit, which was filed on Dec. 27 by Republican Texas U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert and the 11 Republican electors from Arizona, a state Biden won. But the judge, Jeremy Kernodle, who was appointed by President Trump, threw the case out before ruling on Kennedy’s motion, Kennedy said.
GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
“Judge Kernodle’s dismissal of this frivolous lawsuit by Rep. Gohmert and fake electors is a tremendous victory for the electoral process and the rule of law,” said Kennedy in an email to Newsline. “President Trump and his supporters’ last-ditch efforts to overturn the election have failed.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas, asked the court to strike down an 1887 law, the Electoral Count Act, that describes how Congress should process Electoral College results. The vice president in his constitutional role as president of the Senate presides over the counting of electoral votes in Congress. Gohmert and the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit wanted to secure authority for Pence to decide whether electoral votes are valid. Such authority could have allowed him to overturn the results in favor of President Trump.
Kennedy had sought to have the case dismissed.
“I think any presidential electors for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris would be justified in challenging a lawsuit that seeks to overturn our electoral votes,” Kennedy said on Thursday. “I mean I take that personally … I feel a sense of responsibility to the voters of Colorado and millions of Americans who voted for Biden and Harris.”
Gohmert, along with Trump and many other Republican leaders, have claimed, despite an absence of credible evidence, that the election was compromised by widespread fraud.
Many legal experts described Gohmert’s lawsuit as a long shot that rested on shaky legal ground, and in dismissing the case, Kernodle wrote, “The problem for Plaintiffs here is that they lack standing.” But Gohmert vowed to appeal the judge’s ruling. In an interview on Newsmax, Gohmert suggested the ruling could lead to violence.
Gohmert said, “Basically in effect the ruling would be that you got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLEM,” an apparent reference to BLM, or Black Lives Matter.
At least 140 U.S. House Republicans, including Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, who is due to be sworn in on Sunday, reportedly plan to object to Electoral College results on Jan. 6, during Congress’ joint session to count Electoral College votes. At least 12 Senate Republicans are on record saying they’ll do the same. If at least one member of the House and one member of the Senate objects to a state’s Electoral College votes, the objection is considered and voted on in each chamber separately. The objection is upheld only if both the House and Senate vote in favor of it.
Many congressional observers expect efforts to overturn Biden’s win to fail, because Democrats control the House and a number of Senate Republicans have already publicly recognized Biden as the election winner.
“Even Trump-appointed judges know that Trump’s Electoral College fantasy is undemocratic and unconstitutional,” Kennedy wrote in his email to Newsline. “I look forward to watching President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris sworn in on January 20.”
SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.