Appeals court rejects challenge to Trump voter fraud panel
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A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday rejected a legal challenge to President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE's voter fraud panel.

In a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit opinion, Judge Stephen Williams wrote that the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) does not have legal standing to sue the voter fraud commission for alleged violations of the 2002 E-Government Act. 

The group is "not a voter" and represents no voters, and therefore had no standing to sue, Williams wrote. He added that EPIC "has suffered no informational or organizational injury from the defendants' attempt to collect voter data without first producing an assessment." 

"It was a surprising outcome," EPIC President Marc Rotenberg told The Hill. The group plans to pursue a re-hearing after the court's Tuesday decision, he said. 

Trump created the bipartisan Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity by executive order in May. The president has claimed that thousands of people voted illegally in the 2016 election.

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EPIC sued for the alleged violation of the E-Government Act, saying the panel's request for voter information from the states was an "unlawful agency action" that should be halted.

Williams argued against EPIC's interpretation, saying that the group was unable to prove it had been deprived of information in the commission's study of voter data or that the act required an impact assessment in the first place. 

The voter fraud commission has faced criticism for its requests to states for "publicly available voter roll data" such as names, addresses and partial Social Security numbers. Some states refused to comply with the order. 

Trump's commission stopped collecting and analyzing voter data after EPIC filed its lawsuit in July.

"No action or analysis is currently being taken with respect to the state data submitted to the Commission," said the panel's Designated Federal Officer Andrew Cossack in a December declaration to the court. 

- This story was updated at 2:26 p.m.