Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) just launched a last-ditch attempt to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. On Monday, the lawmaker filed a lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence, hoping to push him to declare President Trump the winner of the electoral college vote on Jan. 6.
From Fox News:
As the president of the Senate, the vice president has the role of announcing the results after the electoral votes are counted at a joint session of Congress. Gohmert and the slate of Republican electors from Arizona claim that the 12th Amendment gives Pence the right to choose which slate of electors to count from their state – and other states – that had Republicans electors submit votes despite Democratic electors having their votes certified in light of November’s general election.
Gohmert released a statement on Monday explaining his reasons for filing the lawsuit. “The 2020 presidential election was one we’d expect to see in a banana republic, not the United States of America,” he argued.
The lawmaker continued:
In fact, the rampant fraud and unconstitutional actions that took place were so egregious that seven contested states–Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all sent dueling slates of electors to Congress. This puts Vice President Mike Pence in a position where some argue he has to choose between morality and the law. That is not the case.
The suit alleges that the Electoral Counting Act, which addresses disputes over electoral votes in Congress, is a violation of the 12th Amendment. The act lays out the procedure for dealing with objections to votes that involves the House and Senate. The lawmaker’s complaint argues that this procedure should only include the House.
Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward, one of the plaintiffs,” also released a statement.
“The Electoral Count Act limits or eliminates the Vice President’s ability to determine which electors may be counted,” she insisted. “However, plain law cannot contradict a Constitutional Amendment, which is why we are challenging that the statute is unconstitutional and seeking to demonstrate to the American people what the Vice President’s constitutional powers are in this matter.”
Gohmert’s lawsuit puts forth the suggestion that the 12th Amendment gives the vice president the authority to decided which slate of electors to choose from a particular state regardless of which slate was certified by the state. It argues that the Electoral Counting Act illegally removes power from the vice president and gives it to Congress.
The suit asks the court to declare the Electoral Counting Act unconstitutional and calls for an injunction blocking Pence from acting according to the established procedure. In essence, while the suit is filed against Pence, it is designed to give him greater authority to determine the outcome of the election.
However, the lawsuit is a long-shot. It is unlikely that the court will rule in Gohmert’s favor, but it does put the vice president in a situation where he either has to contest the suit, which would certainly draw fire from the right, or support it and give the Democrats, who are claiming that questioning the election results is tantamount to attacking democracy, even more ammo.
Politico noted: “Though Biden was the certified winner in states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and others, the Republicans who would have been Trump’s electors met anyway and purported to cast their votes for Trump’s reelection. They’re counting on Pence and congressional Republicans to treat those informal votes as equal to the slates certified in those states where Trump was defeated.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been trying to discourage his colleagues in the Senate from mounting a challenge to the election results. Gohmert has already indicated that he intends to push back on the outcome in the House. If at least one senator is willing to follow suit, it will force a vote, but it is still unlikely to change the outcome of the election.
Under the rules Gohmert is challenging, all it takes is a single member of each branch to challenge electors from multiple states to force a vote on the matter. But any challenge is likely to fail under the expected rules. The Democrat-led House will vote to uphold Biden’s win, and numerous GOP senators have indicated they do not intend to support Trump’s efforts.
The fight over the presidency has raged since Election Day, but it appears that it is reaching its conclusion. If the Jan. 6 vote goes in former Vice President Joe Biden’s favor, the push to alter to election’s outcome will likely begin to fade away, and will likely pivot when he takes office on Jan. 20.
At that point, it will be time to prepare for the 2022 midterm elections which will likely see a turnout that surpasses that of 2018. If the non-establishment faction of the conservative movement manages to gain enough traction, the establishment, which is looking to go back to the pre-Trump days, will be in for quite a reckoning come primary season.
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