The Supreme Court today summarily rejected an emergency application by a Republican congressman that, if it had been granted in time, may have allowed Vice President Mike Pence to reject Electoral College votes from states disputed by Republicans, possibly giving President Donald Trump a second term.
The high court’s unsigned decision in Gohmert v. Pence, court file number 20A115, was made public at about 1 p.m., 9 hours after Congress formally certified Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The certification itself came after the congressional proceedings were halted for hours when protesters bearing Trump campaign flags and paraphernalia stormed the United States Capitol, destroying property and clashing with police.
The application was addressed to Justice Samuel Alito, who referred it to the full court, whose members, in turn, dismissed the lawsuit. According to its usual practice when rejecting emergency applications, the court provided no explanation for its decision. No justices indicated they were dissenting from the ruling.
The emergency appeal was filed with the Supreme Court in the afternoon on Jan. 6 as Congress was considering Republican lawmakers’ objections lodged against Electoral College votes from states that President Trump, a Republican, claimed experienced election irregularities significant enough to taint the results.
The lawsuit brought by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) worked its way through the judicial system. It was rejected by a U.S. District Court judge and then on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
The Electoral Count Act (ECA) of 1887 shifted most of the responsibility for resolving presidential electoral disputes to the states. If a state follows the statute’s “safe harbor” standards and the state’s governor properly submits one slate of electoral votes the law says that “final” determination shall prevail. Congress was left with the ability to reject electoral votes only for specific defects or if the votes were deemed not “regularly given.”
Under the Twelfth Amendment, the vice president in his capacity as presiding officer of the Senate opens the electoral certificates from the states and leads the count.
Pence made it clear in a letter released just before the congressional joint session began that he did not believe he had the “unilateral authority” to reject electoral votes.
Both chambers of Congress can overrule the vice president’s decision to include or exclude votes, but Gohmert and his fellow plaintiffs argued that the ECA unconstitutionally ties the hands of the vice president who enjoys the discretionary authority to reject electoral votes.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.
From The Epoch Times