The judge said President Trump’s team is effectively asking the courts to disenfranchise millions of voters.
A federal judge has dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit against Pennsylvania that sought to invalidate millions of votes in the state.
According to CNN, the ruling was passed on Saturday by Judge Matthew Brann of the US District Court in the Mid-District of Pennsylvania. In his decision, Brann expressly described the Trump campaign lawsuit as unlawful.
“It is not in the power of this court to break the constitution,” wrote Brann, noting that Biden won that state by tens of thousands of votes ahead.
In its first complaint, the Trump administration alleged “irregularities” in the number of votes in Pennsylvania. She also accused the state’s political administration of favoring democratic voters by allegedly allowing people who made “technical” mistakes on their postal ballot papers to correct and resubmit them.
However, such “correction” guidelines are implemented from county to county. By and large, only democratically controlled districts had introduced such a forgiveness policy, while many Republican-dominated districts deliberately opposed it.
The Trump campaign claimed that this “irregularity” meant that some Republican voters who had made “technical” mistakes may not have counted their votes.
However, Brann said the Trump administration was effectively urging the courts to immediately cast Pennsylvania’s vote off.
“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of any single voter, let alone all of the electorate in its sixth most populous state,” added Brann. “Our employees, laws and institutions demand more.
“In essence, the plaintiffs have not fulfilled their duty to claim relief.”
CNN suggests that Trump’s legal team – which includes attorney Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor – put their hopes in a federal court that would give credence to the president’s allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
A hammer. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / User: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).
But Brann, himself a Republican, refused to entertain the Trump campaign fantasy.
Shortly after Brann’s decision was made public, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) called President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on his victory. Toomey’s appeal was among the first to direct conservative lawmakers to Biden, according to CNN – most right-wing lawmakers have so far either followed Trump’s allegations of electoral fraud or decided to remain silent.
The Pennsylvania decision, however, is by no means clear-cut. The Trump campaign has filed dozens of lawsuits in battlefield states that either questioned the validity of ballot certificates or required the discounting of thousands of legal votes.
Of these lawsuits, only two were successful – and the number of votes involved was small. At least 30 of the other Trump campaign lawsuits have been dismissed.
Brann found that the campaign’s demand amounted to extensive disenfranchisement.
“The plaintiffs are asking this court to disenfranchise nearly seven million voters,” Brann wrote. “This court has not been able to find a case where a campaigning plaintiff sought such a drastic legal remedy over the sheer volume of votes that is about to be invalidated.”
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