Federal appeals court rejects a Trump election lawsuit: “Calling an election unfair does not make it so”

President Donald Trump continued to mislead cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election – which was won three weeks ago by President-elect Joe Biden – in the early hours of Saturday morning. But with a trial after a failed court trial, and the federal election certification deadline approaching, Trump is quickly off the road in an attempt to overturn the election.

The president’s latest legal defeat came on Friday when a three-member appeals court rejected a Trump campaign lawsuit against Pennsylvania election officials who alleged the state had engaged in “unconstitutional discrimination” against Trump voters in a scathing and unanimous decision that concluded that the president’s trial had failed “No merit”.

Specifically, the prosecution was asking the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for two things: overturn a lower court ruling barring Trump’s legal team from amending his complaint to include allegations that poll observers had failed. not the right to observe the counting process and issue an injunction “to prevent the certified vote total from taking effect.” (Pennsylvania certified its election results on Tuesday.) The court awarded neither.

In its ruling, the court not only highlights the lack of evidence from Trump’s legal team on his claims, but also berated lawyers for making “vague and conclusive” allegations and for seeking “patently disproportionate” relief by in relation to the procedural challenges raised ”.

“The Campaign never alleges that a ballot was fraudulent or issued by an illegal voter,” said court-appointed judge Stephanos Bibas by Trump in 2017, wrote for the court. “He never alleges that a defendant treated the Trump campaign or his votes worse than he treated the Biden campaign or his votes. Calling something discriminatory doesn’t make it that way. “

“The accusations of unfairness are serious,” Bibas continued. “But calling an election unfair doesn’t make it that way. Charges require specific allegations, then evidence. We don’t have either here.

Previously, Trump’s Pennsylvania lawsuit was dismissed by Federal District Court in a similar decision, just as steamy by Justice Matthew Brann, who wrote that “this Court has been presented with unfounded strained legal arguments and speculative accusations, unsubstantiated in the operational complaint and unsupported by evidence.

In a tweet after the ruling was released, Trump campaign legal counsel Jenna Ellis, who in 2016 referred to Trump as an “unethical, corrupt, liar, criminal, dirty” denounced “the activist judiciary in Pennsylvania”.

“On SCOTUS,” Ellis wrote on Friday.

However, there is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will accept the case if the Trump campaign follows up on an appeal, experts say, much less the court will rule in its favor.

“Yes, the Trump campaign can now ‘go to #SCOTUS’, but with what?” wrote Professor Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas Law School on Twitter. “The court will never resume this garbage can fire of a trial. And, as the unanimous opinion of the Third Circuit written by a person appointed by Trump clearly shows, there is no remote basis for an injunction pending appeal.

The Trump campaign has equally slim chances of success elsewhere. Despite being determined to sue in other swing states, Trump’s legal team has done badly so far: in total, his post-election file in court is between 1 and 38, According to Democratic voting rights lawyer Marc Elias, and the campaign is “on a good pace to lose 50 before the voters’ meeting in December”.

Even before the electoral college meets on December 14, the federal deadline for state certification of election results on December 8 is fast approaching. According to the New York Times, “If states resolve all disputes and certify their results” before this deadline, “the results should be immune to further legal challenges, ensuring that states won by Mr. Biden will send Biden delegates to the Electoral College . “

This certification will essentially render the president’s legal challenges moot. And the Electoral College meeting next week will slam the door even more firmly in the face of Trump’s stupid election fraud allegations. Biden won 74 more votes than Trump – 36 more than the bare minimum needed to win the presidency. It’s possible, though highly unlikely, that some voters in the states Biden won would choose to vote for Trump – but as the Times points out, “Rogue voters have been rare and never changed the outcome.”

Trump continues to spread lies about non-existent voter fraud

While the Trump campaign has repeatedly failed to provide evidence of electoral fraud in the courts, that hasn’t stopped the president and his lawyers from lying outrageously about the legitimacy of the election. Recently, their lies have included a wide range of absurd conspiracy theories, ranging from ballots for Biden “made from scratch” at former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez help rig the electoral machines before his death in 2013.

And even on the extremely rare occasions since Election Day Trump failed to acknowledge the reality of his loss, he has espoused that recognition with even more false allegations of baseless fraud.

“[Biden] won because the election was rigged, “Trump tweeted earlier this month.

He took a similar line in public remarks Thursday, when reporters asked him if he intended to leave the White House when Biden took office.

“Sure, I will. And you Know it. But I think a lot will happen by January 20, ”Trump said according to a transcript provided by the White House. “Massive fraud has been discovered. We are like a third world country. “

However, for all of Trump’s coverage, Biden’s margin only increases. Friday a tell asked for and paid for by the Trump campaign in two Wisconsin counties, the former vice president garnered 132 new votes. All in all, Biden’s national popular voting margin now stands at well over six million votes.

And on Monday, the General Service Administration – the government agency tasked with “securing” a presidential victory to make government resources available to a transition team – authorized the start of Biden’s transition. .

Trump also did not leave this unanswered: “[GSA administrator] Emily Murphy did a great job, but the GSA is not determining who will be the next President of the United States. ” he tweeted on Tuesday.

On this point, he is right, if only technically. “Voters, not lawyers, choose the president,” Bibas wrote in his ruling dismissing the Trump campaign call. “The ballots, not the writs, decide the elections.” And those voters have decided – regardless of what Trump claims – that Biden will be the next President of the United States.

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