Pence Fights Gohmert In Court On Electoral College Vote Case

Written by Carmine Sabia

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion

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Vice President Mike Pence appears to be showing that he is as much a part of the swamp as other establishment Republicans that came before him.

He was sued by Rep. Louie Gohmert in an attempt to solidify his authority to negate the vote from certain states and his response was to fight the representative, CNN reported.

Vice President Mike Pence’s lawyers asked a federal judge Thursday to reject a request from Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas that attempts to force Pence to ignore electoral votes of several key states when Congress meets to certify the 2020 presidential election next week.

Pence argues that the legal issues raised by Gohmert, along with a slate of Arizona Republicans, should be addressed to the House and Senate (if they should be raised at all).

Gohmert’s lawsuit is a last-gasp attempt by Republicans to persuade Pence to interfere in the declaration of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and flip the election for President Donald Trump. The brief, filed with the Eastern District of Texas, does not say if Pence would entertain that possibility, but there is no public indication he will.

“Plaintiffs have presented this Court with an emergency motion raising a host of weighty legal issues about the manner in which the electoral votes for President are to be counted,” the filing by Pence said.

“But these plaintiffs’ suit is not a proper vehicle for addressing those issues because plaintiffs have sued the wrong defendant,” it said.

“(A) suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” it said.

The lawsuit alleges that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by Democrats, as it alleges cases of voter fraud that have been rejected by the courts. Gohmert and his colleagues contend that the Electoral Count Act allows Pence the “exclusive authority and sole discretion” to count or dismiss each state’s electoral votes.

“Under the Twelfth Amendment, Defendant Pence alone has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to open and permit the counting of the electoral votes for a given state, and where there are competing slates of electors, or where there is objection to any single slate of electors, to determine which electors’ votes, or whether none, shall be counted,” the suit said.

But Pence’s argument is that “Ironically, Representative Gohmert’s position, if adopted by the Court, would actually deprive him of his opportunity as a Member of the House under the Electoral Count Act to raise objections to the counting of electoral votes, and then to debate and vote on them.”

House General Counsel Doug Letter sent an amicus brief on Thursday, demanding that Rep. Gohmert’s case be dismissed and said it was a “radical departure from our constitutional procedures and consistent legislative practices.”

“This Court should dismiss the complaint and deny the extraordinary and unprecedented relief requested: a declaration that the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional and an injunction that would interfere with the time-honored procedures of Congress for counting electoral votes. Plaintiffs lack standing; their claims are barred by laches; and their legal and constitutional claims—which this Court should not reach—lack merit,” it said.

“At bottom, this litigation seeks to enlist the federal courts in a belated and meritless assault on longstanding constitutional processes for confirming the results of a national election for President,” the House attorney said.