Rep. Louie Gohmert and
The group, which includes Arizona
The suit argues that the Electoral Count Act, which was passed in 1887, violates the 12th Amendment, which outlines the procedure for electing the president and vice president.
Rep. Louie Gohmert and Arizona’s slate of Republican ‘electors’ have sued Vice President Mike Pence in an effort to get a Texas-base federal judge to give Pence the right to choose which electoral votes count
Kelli Ward, the chair of the Arizona Republican Party, and other ‘electors’ joined the lawsuit. On the same day the actual Electoral College met, groups of Republican electors gathered in key swing states that President-elect Joe Biden won and voted for President Donald Trump
The lawsuit wants Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, to be able to pick the votes cast by the Republican electors instead of those cast by Democratic Electoral College members
The amendment, which was ratified in 1804, says that the ‘President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall be counted.’
On December 14, when Electoral College electors were meeting in state capitals around the nation, groups of Republican ‘electors’ did so in states that Trump didn’t win and cast votes for him.
Among those states was Arizona and the lawsuit argues that Pence, as president of the Senate, should be able to choose which set of electors’ votes count.
‘That, with respect to competing slates of electors from the State of Arizona or other Contested States, the Twelfth Amendment contains the exclusive dispute resolution mechanisms, namely, that (i) Vice-President Pence determines which slate of electors’ votes count, or neither, for that State,’ the lawsuit says.
Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe tweeted that Gohmert effort ‘may be the dumbest law suit of all’ adding that it’s ‘jaw-droppingly stupid.’
Trump and his allies have tried legal case after case to try and find a loophole to get courts to declare the Republican president the victor of the 2020 race.
Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won the presidential election by more than 7 million votes and earned 306 Electoral College votes, compared to Trump’s 232.
The December 14 meeting of the Electoral College cemented that count.
Then, on January 6, Pence will preside over what’s usually a ceremonial meeting of Congress to count the votes.
House members and senators are allowed to object to states’ counts – and Gohmert said he plans to engage in that effort.
A number of GOP House members plan to object to counts in key swing states, but debate won’t occur unless they’re joined by a U.S. senator.
Trump has been pressuring incoming Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville to voice objections.
If that were to occur, lawmakers would debate the objections in their respective chambers, with a majority vote needed to kill the effort.
There are enough votes in the House and the Senate to overrule any objections and so while the effort could delay the reporting of the vote, it won’t change the result.