Court Battles

Supreme Court rejects Gohmert’s last-ditch election suit against Pence

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a last-ditch lawsuit by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) that sought to expand Vice President Pence’s legal authority to effectively overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win.

The justices’ denial of Gohmert’s bid, which took the form of a brief unsigned order, came after Congress certified Biden’s victory early Thursday morning.

Election law experts had expected Gohmert’s effort to fail, after the suit’s quick dismissal by lower federal courts in recent weeks.

Gohmert and his co-plaintiffs, which included Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward and other Republicans, filed their Supreme Court request Wednesday, just moments before Pence began presiding over a joint session of Congress to finalize President Trump’s electoral defeat.

The session was interrupted when a mob incited by Trump breached the U.S. Capitol in a violent attack. Lawmakers returned hours later to complete certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

The far-fetched legal effort by Gohmert sought to permit Pence to sidestep federal election law during the electoral vote count in Congress. Had the unrealistic bid succeeded, it would have allowed Pence to dispense with his statutory duty to finalize Biden’s win and effectively grant himself and Trump a second term.

Pence said publicly that he lacked the legal authority to undertake such a maneuver. In a letter to Congress released just moments before Wednesday’s joint session convened, Pence said he did not have the “unilateral authority” to reject electoral votes.

Updated at 1:42 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Louie Gohmert

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