Published: 20:38 GMT, 22 November 2020 | Updated: 22:54 GMT, 22 November 2020
President Donald Trump is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of his campaign’s effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania.
The president and other plaintiffs filed notice of appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday, a day after the judge issued a scathing order shooting down claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.
The case was always a long shot to stop President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, but given Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes at stake, it was the campaign’s best hope to affect the election results through the courts.
Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appeared in court for the first time in decades to argue the case this past week.
President Donald Trump is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of his campaign’s effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania
Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appeared in court for the first time in decades to argue the case this past week
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump had asked the court to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters. In seeking such a ‘startling outcome,’ he said, a plaintiff could be expected to provide compelling legal arguments and ‘factual proof of rampant corruption’ – but ‘That has not happened.’
The Trump campaign had sought to prevent state officials from certifying the results of the election in the state.
The judge said that he ‘has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let alone millions of citizens.’
The lawsuit before Brann was filed on November 9 and had alleged inconsistent treatment by county election officials of mail-in ballots. Some counties notified voters that they could fix minor defects such as missing ‘secrecy envelopes’ while others did not.
The Trump campaign responded by issuing a statement blasting the ‘Obama-appointed judge’ while vowing to fight on all the way to the Supreme Court.
‘Today’s decision turns out to help us in our strategy to get expeditiously to the US Supreme Court,’ Trump campaign attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis wrote in their statement.
Brann, nominated by former President Barack Obama, is a Republican and, according to his biography, a member of the Federalist Society, a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers, law students and scholars.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement he was disappointed with the ruling and will appeal. ‘Today´s decision turns out to help us in our strategy to get expeditiously to the U.S. Supreme Court,’ he said.
The campaign will ask the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to review the ruling on an accelerated timetable, according to Giuliani. A majority of that circuit’s judges were nominated by Republican presidents. Four were nominated by Trump.
For Trump to have any hope of overturning the election, he needs to reverse the outcome in Pennsylvania, which is scheduled to be certified by state officials on Monday.
‘Today’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law, and for the voters of Pennsylvania, whom the Trump campaign sought to disenfranchise on the flimsiest legal theory imaginable,’ wrote election law scholar Rick Hasen on Twitter.
The Trump campaign and its supporters have filed dozens of lawsuits in six closely contested states. The campaign’s only victories extended the Election Day voting hours at a handful of polling places in Nevada and set aside some provisional ballots in Pennsylvania, according to court records.
Attempts to thwart the certification of the election have failed in courts in Georgia, Michigan and Arizona.
In the Pennsylvania case, Brann also denied a campaign request to amend the suit to claim violations of the U.S. Constitution. The campaign wanted Brann to allow Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled state legislature to appoint electors who would back Trump at the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14.
Under Pennsylvania law, the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state gets all the state’s electoral votes.
A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the election, and Biden leads in the electoral vote count by 306-232.
Electoral votes are allocated among the 50 states and the District of Columbia based roughly on population.
The Trump campaign’s top two attorneys – Rudy Giuliani (left) and Jenna Ellis (right) – released a statement on Saturday blasting the Pennsylvania federal judge and vowing to take their fight to the Supreme Court
The two lawyers leading the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to contest the election results, Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, released a statement in response to the ruling saying that they intend to appeal to the nation’s highest court.
‘Today’s decision turns out to help us in our strategy to get expeditiously to the US Supreme Court,’ the statement read.
‘Although we fully disagree with this opinion, we’re thankful to the Obama-appointed judge for making this anticipated decision quickly, rather than simply trying to run out the clock.’
‘There is so much evidence that in Pennsylvania, Democrats eliminated our opportunity to present 50 witnesses and other evidence that election officials blatantly ignored Pennsylvania’s law denying independent review.
‘This is just an extension of the Big Tech, Big Media, Corrupt Democrat censorship of damning facts the American public needs to know.
‘We are disappointed we did not at least get the opportunity to present our evidence at a hearing. Unfortunately the censorship continues.
‘We hope that the Third Circuit will be as gracious as Judge Brann in deciding our appeal one way or the other as expeditiously as possible.
‘This is another case that appears to be moving quickly to the United States Supreme Court.’
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News – Trump appeals after judge dismissed his Pennsylvania election suit