Vice President Mike Pence won a major legal victory on Friday.
The Washington Examiner reports that a federal judge has issued the final decision to toss out a lawsuit aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election. Pence and lawyers for him at the Department of Justice had reportedly asked the judge to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it was filed against the wrong parties.
An unusual lawsuit
The unusual suit was first filed against Pence earlier this week by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican who sought to have parts of the Electoral Count Act deemed unconstitutional.
According to Politico, the late-1800s-era legislation outlines the process by which Congress certifies the Electoral College votes. This year, the House and Senate are set to meet in a joint session on Wednesday that is slated to be overseen by Vice President Pence.
Essentially, the vice president is supposed to introduce the final electoral tally from each state, in alphabetical order, giving members of Congress a chance to object. Dozens of House Republicans, including Gohmert, and one Senate Republican are planning such a move, which will lead to a debate and a vote on the floor to accept or reject the state’s electors, Politico reports.
Changing the game
Gohmert isn’t a fan of these procedures, however, and according to Politico, his suit made the case that the vice president should have sole discretion, under the 12th Amendment, to determine which state’s electoral votes would be considered valid. In other words, Pence would have had the opportunity to overturn a reported 306–232 victory for Joe Biden in the Electoral College.
As Politico noted, many, including Pence, thought Gohmert was off-base here. The vice president’s lawyers filed a brief with the court arguing that Gohmert should have brought the case against Congress, not him. Gohmert later accused Pence of trying to hide behind procedural arguments.
“It would be the Senate and the House of Representatives that are best positioned to defend the Act. Indeed, as a matter of logic, it is those bodies against whom plaintiffs’ requested relief must run,” the filing from Pence said, according to Politico.
According to the Washington Examiner, federal judge Jeremy Kernodle dismissed the case Friday, siding with Pence on the grounds that Gohmert lacked the standing necessary to have brought the lawsuit in the first place.
“Plaintiff Louie Gohmert, the United States Representative for Texas’s First Congressional District, alleges at most an institutional injury to the House of Representatives,” Kernodle wrote, according to the Examiner. “Under well-settled Supreme Court authority, that is insufficient to support standing.”
“Accordingly,” Kernodle said that “the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case and must dismiss the action.” The substance of the case was not brought up in the ruling.
In an interview with Newsmax on Friday, Gohmert said he intends to file an appeal.