(Reuters) – A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a critical lawsuit against President Donald Trumps’ long-running attempt to overturn his November 3 electoral defeat to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, calling his legal claim a Frankensteins Monster.
The Trump campaign had sought to prevent state officials from certifying the results of elections in the state.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pa., Described the case as unfounded strained legal arguments and speculative accusations.
Brann said he does not have the power to take away the right to vote from just one person, let alone millions of citizens.
The lawsuit before Brann was filed on Nov. 9 and had alleged inconsistent treatment by county election officials of the mail-in ballots. Some counties have informed voters that they can fix minor flaws such as missing secret envelopes, while others have not.
This claim, like Frankensteins Monster, was stitched up at random, Brann wrote.
Brann, appointed by former President Barack Obama, is a Republican and, according to his biography, a fellow of the Federalist Society, a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers, law students, and academics.
FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the White House Rose Garden in Washington, United States, November 13, 2020. REUTERS / Carlos Barria / File Photo
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement he was disappointed with the ruling and would appeal. Today’s ruling is proving to help us in our strategy to get to the United States Supreme Court quickly, he said.
According to Giuliani, the campaign will ask the 3rd U.S. Circuit Philadelphia Court of Appeals to review the decision on an accelerated schedule. A majority of these circuit judges were appointed by Republican presidents. Four were nominated by Trump.
For Trump to have any hope of quashing the election, he must reverse the result in Pennsylvania, which is expected to be certified by state officials on Monday.
Today’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law, and for voters in Pennsylvania, whom the Trump campaign has sought to deny their rights over the most fragile legal theory imaginable, the law scholar wrote. Rick Hasen on Twitter.
The Trump campaign and its supporters have filed dozens of lawsuits in six closely contested states. Campaigns, only wins extended voting hours on election day at a handful of polling stations in Nevada and overturned some provisional polls in Pennsylvania, court records show.
Attempts to thwart election certification have failed in courts in Georgia, Michigan and Arizona.
In the Pennsylvania case, Brann also rejected a campaign request to amend the trial to allege violations of the US Constitution. The campaign wanted Brann to allow the Republican-controlled state legislature of Pennsylvanias to nominate voters who would support Trump in the Electoral College vote on December 14.
Under Pennsylvania law, the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state gets all the electoral votes in the state.
A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the election, and Biden leads the electoral vote count by 306-232.
Electoral votes are distributed among the 50 states and the District of Columbia based approximately on population.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Raphael Satter and Aram Roston; Edited by Daniel Wallis, Dan Grebler, Noeleen Walder and Lincoln Feast.
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