Appeals court throws out GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert’s lawsuit challenging Biden’s election win – hours after he said Trump fans may ‘hit the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM’ if his case his rejected
Congress meets on January 6 to certify Biden’s victory over Donald Trump, and allies of the president have attempted a series of tricks to prevent the certification.
Gohmert, a Republican congressman for Texas, was deemed by the three-judge panel on Saturday to lack the standing to sue.
The panel comprised of Republican appointees, including two judges tapped by former President Ronald Reagan and a Trump appointee.
Louie Gohmert, Republican congressman from Texas, is attempting to get Mike Pence to void the election won by Joe Biden when Congress meets on January 6
Gohmert’s suit argued that Pence had discretion to decide what votes should count
They largely endorsed the lower court ruling, issued on Friday by Texas-based U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, who said the GOP plaintiffs lacked standing.
Kernodle found that Gohmert suffered no legally recognizable injury, and that the other plaintiffs, a group of Arizona Republicans who self-identify as an alternate ‘slate’ of pro-Trump electors, could not link their supposed injury to Pence.
Kernodle found they could not show they suffered any personal harm ‘fairly traceable’ to Pence’s allegedly unlawful conduct and, therefore, lacked legal standing to bring the case.
The standing requirement ‘helps enforce the limited role of federal courts in our constitutional system. The problem for plaintiffs here is that they lack standing,’ Kernodle wrote.
Following the ruling, Gohmert, told Newsmax: ‘But if bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’ – basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.’
After his remarks drew backlash, Gohmert issued a statement saying his words had been twisted, and that it was ‘false’ he had been advocating for violence.
‘I have not encouraged and unequivocally do not advocate for violence,’ he said. ‘I have long advocated for following and teach the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of peaceful protest.’
‘That does not keep me from recognizing what lies ahead when the institutions created by a self-governing people to peacefully resolve disputes hide from their responsibilities,’ he continued.
‘Violence is not the answer. The appropriate answer is courts and self-governing bodies resolving disputes as intended,’ Gohmert concluded.
Gohmert issued a statement denying his remarks were a call for violence
Joe Biden, pictured on December 29, will be certified on January 6 and sworn in on January 20
The suit’s dismissal was expected.
Trump has refused to concede defeat to Democrat Biden and has repeatedly falsely claimed the election was tainted by widespread fraud.
He and his allies have lost dozens of court efforts seeking to reverse the election results.
Biden beat Trump by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College and is set to be sworn in on January 20.
Gohmert’s suit argued that Pence had discretion to decide what votes should count.
They also asked the judge to bar Pence from following the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which lays out how objections to votes are handled by Congress.
Some Republicans have said they plan to object to the count of presidential electors next week in Congress.
A Justice Department lawyer representing Pence on Thursday urged Kernodle to dismiss the lawsuit saying they had sued the wrong person as they raised ‘a host of weighty legal issues about the manner in which the electoral votes for president are to be counted.’
‘The Senate and the House, not the Vice President, have legal interests that are sufficiently adverse to plaintiffs to ground a case or controversy,’ Pence’s filing said.
Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said in a statement on Saturday that lawmakers have the right to raise their objections.
‘The Vice President welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on Jan. 6,’ Short said.
Gohmert’s suit was dismissed Friday, and the dismissal upheld by an appeals court Saturday
On Saturday Ted Cruz, senator from Texas, and 10 other senators said they intend to vote to reject electors from states that have been at the center of Trump’s unproven assertions of election fraud.
They said Congress should immediately appoint a commission to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of election results in those states.
‘Once completed, individual states would evaluate the commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed,’ they said.
It was not immediately clear which states would be subject to the proposed audit, Cruz’s office said.
They accepted their attempt was likely to fail.
‘We are not naive. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise,’ they said.
Several Republicans senators have said they do not support any effort to derail the certification of the Electoral College vote.