Pence asks judge to toss GOP suit empowering him to overturn the election

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On Thursday, Vice President Pence asked a federal judge to reject a bid by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and other Republicans to broaden Pence’s powers to allow him to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s alleged electoral win.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this week, seeks to expand Pence’s role in an upcoming Jan. 6 meeting of Congress to count states’ electoral votes.

Pence said in the brief he was not a proper defendant to the suit. He’s not at all interested in assuming the authority.

“A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” a Department of Justice attorney representing Pence wrote in the filing.

The lawsuit is a Hail Mary Pass.

Typically, the vice president’s role in presiding over the Jan. 6 meeting is a largely ceremonial one governed by an 1887 federal law known as the Electoral Count Act.

The longshot Republican lawsuit seeks to invalidate the law as an unconstitutional restraint on the vice president’s authority. The law overturned a constitutional option to contest elections.

Republicans in several key battleground states have disputed Biden’s win and offered alternate “slates” of pro-Trump electors to be counted on Jan. 6.

They carry no legal weight, according to experts.

Supporters of President Trump are pressuring Pence to challenge the election. He has already said he would not.

Among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were Kelli Ward, who chairs the Arizona Republican Party.

Ward was also involved in an earlier unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn Biden’s win in Arizona.


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