A United States federal appeals court has firmly trashed Trump campaign’s attempt to block President-elect Joe Biden from being declared victor in Pennsylvania. The scathing ruling read that the campaign’s lawsuit lacked proof and its allegations in Pennsylvania “have no merit.”
The 3-judge panel for the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals slammed Trump campaign efforts to turn tide in Pennsylvania ruling and denied Republican’s team the right of appeal, saying its allegations had already been rejected by a number of state judges in Pennsylvania and the latest attempt to hear them could not be translated into winning theory.
“Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” wrote Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, for the panel.
“The Campaign never alleges that any ballot was fraudulent or cast by an illegal voter,” wrote Bibas. “It never alleges that any defendant treated the Trump campaign or its votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or its votes. Calling something discrimination does not make it so. The Second Amended Complaint still suffers from these core defects, so granting leave to amend would have been futile.”
Rudy Giuliani, who leads Trump’s legal team entered the federal case last week. The lawsuit was already dismissed last Saturday when a lower court judge called it “Frankenstein’s monster” for its poorly stitched together legal theories.
Trump and some of his allies have been raising questions over the legitimacy of the election levelling unfounded claims of the voter fraud and seeking to use legal battles to subvert the election results. Of late, a handful of Pennsylvania Republicans, alongside Giuliani held a “hearing” in Gettysburg on Wednesday to discuss the fraudulent voting.
Federal judges in their strongly worded ruling on Friday rejected President’s legal arguments – at times eviscerating it for not presenting evidence to substantiate the claims of electoral fraud.
In Friday’s opinion, the court also tossed out President’s motion to suspend Pennsylvania’s certification of votes out of the court, calling it ‘unprecedented’ and ‘breathtaking’ relief where no fraud had been alleged. The battleground state on Tuesday certified its general election results, formally awarding President-elect Joe Biden 20 electoral votes.
“The Campaign’s claims have no merit. The number of ballots it specifically challenges is far smaller than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory. And it never claims fraud or that any votes were cast by illegal voters. Plus, tossing out millions of mail-in ballots would be drastic and unprecedented, disenfranchising a huge swath of the electorate and upsetting all down-ballot races too. That remedy would be grossly disproportionate to the procedural challenges raised,” the court found.
Mike Gwin, Biden’s campaign spokesperson, following the decision, said that “this election is over and Donald Trump lost” and argued “meritless lawsuits” and added that “meritless lawsuits” will not change the outcome.
“Desperate and embarrassingly meritless lawsuits like this one will continue to fail and will not change the fact that Joe Biden will be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021,” added Gwin.
Jenna Ellis, President Trump’s attorney, said on Twitter following the ruling that “the activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” and vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court. The Republican’s campaign had appealed against the ruling last weekend, when Judge Matthew Brann threw out the lawsuit, observing it could not be amended and refiled.
The magistrate compared it to “Frankenstein’s monster … haphazardly stitched tougher,” and rejected the request to disenfranchise nearly 7mn voters in a complain filled with “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”
Trump team appealed Brann’s ruling after able to file an amended complaint which would therefore put a curb on its arguments if the Supreme court is moved against the ruling. The appeals court highlighted the President’s legal team’s multiple attempts to alter its lawsuit and praised Brann’s handling of the refiled lawsuit.
“We commend the District Court for its fast, fair, patient handling of this demanding litigation,” the panel wrote.
State and local election officials have said there is no evidence of systemic electoral fraud, and both federal court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court have dismissed the petitions seeking to prevent the state from certifying the results of the election.
“The Campaign cannot win this lawsuit,” the 3rd Circuit panel found Friday. “It conceded that it is not alleging election fraud. It has already raised and lost most of these state-law issues, and it cannot relitigate them here.”