With the lawsuit against Pence, Gohmert hoped to give the vice president the power to cast the votes of the electoral college at its own discretion.
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-AZ) and several Arizona Republicans late last month.
According to CNN, Justice Jeremy Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas found that Gohmert and his Conservative allies did not have proper legal standing.
In his complaint, Gohmert challenged a centuries-old law that controls the electoral college and dictates its processes. Gohmert had actually hoped to use Penne’s position as vice president. While Pence and his predecessors solemnly oversee the counting and certification of electoral college ballots every January, Gohmert asserted that Pence had the unilateral authority to cast votes. In other words, Pence could – possibly – force a state that voted for a Democratic candidate to shift its focus to a Conservative.
By filing the Vice President lawsuit, Gohmert hoped to force Pence to accept this potential power – and then use it to make the 2020 election in favor of President Donald Trump.
Current Vice President Mike Pence in 2016. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / User: Gage Skidmore. (CCA-BY-2.0).
Judge Kernodle – himself a Trump appointee – said, however, that Gohmert was not entitled to sue Pence over his vice presidential duties. Kernodle suggested that Gohmert should instead file a complaint against Congress if he wishes to continue his lawsuit.
Kernodle’s decision comes a day after the US Department of Justice asked the courts to dismiss Gohmert’s lawsuit.
Pence had also moved to dismiss the lawsuit through his government-appointed attorneys.
“A lawsuit that determines that the Vice President has discretion over the census filed against the Vice President is a walking legal contradiction,” Pence said.
Ironically, if accepted by the Tribunal, Rep. Gohmert’s position would actually deprive him of the ability, as a Member of the House, to object to the counting of votes under the Electoral Census Act and then debate and vote it. “it said.
President Trump, the New York Times notes, was reportedly dissatisfied with the Justice Department’s decision. The commander in chief, the Times suggests, did not appreciate a federal entity defending Pence against the lawsuit, as the lawsuit was brought by the president’s own supporters.
CNN says President Trump – who may not have briefly clarified Gohmert’s first complaint – has since taken an interest in the case, though Pence and others insist that the vice president’s role in overseeing the electoral college censuses is merely ceremonial.
Ironically, other branches of government – including the House of Representatives – have offered Gohmert’s litigation their own reprimands. For example, Doug Letter’s household goods filed his own letter with Kernodle Thursday, describing the Republican’s lawsuit in Texas as a “radical departure from our constitutional process and consistent legislative practice.”
“Basically,” Letter said, “this litigation seeks to embroil the federal courts in a belated and unfounded assault on longstanding constitutional processes to uphold the results of a national presidential election.”
Gohmert has since announced that he will appeal against Kernodle’s judgment.
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