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Federal appeals court dismisses Gohmert lawsuit against Pence

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  • A federal appeals court on Saturday evening threw out Rep. Louie Gohmert’s lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence seeking to overturn the election.
  • Gohmert’s last-ditch legal effort asked the judges to empower Pence to “exercise the exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given State.”
  • The appeals court judges noted that a lower court had already dismissed Gohmert’s lawsuit, and wrote in a one-paragraph order that “we need say no more.”
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A federal appeals court threw out Rep. Louie Gohmert’s lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday evening, issuing a one-paragraph response rebuffing the lawmaker’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Gohmert’s last-ditch legal effort asked the judges to dismantle the Electoral Count Act of 1887 and instead empower Pence to “exercise the exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given State.”

Pence will preside over the January 6 session of Congress certifying the election results, and will declare the winner of the presidency.

Louie Gohmert

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas

Screenshot via C-SPAN


President-elect Joe Biden won the election with 306 electoral votes over President Donald Trump’s 232 electoral votes. All states certified their election results throughout November and early December, and the Electoral College formally met on December 14 and affirmed Biden’s victory.

Pence and the Department of Justice responded to Gohmert’s lawsuit by asking the district court judge to toss Gohmert’s lawsuit. Gohmert filed his own response on Friday, arguing that Pence’s role as vice president should not be limited to “the glorified envelope-opener in chief.”

The three judges who sit on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals — two Reagan appointees and one Trump appointee — noted in their order that a lower court had already dismissed Gohmert’s case due to a lack of standing, meaning that Gohmert hadn’t adequately alleged an injury that could be traced to the defendant and remedied by the court.

“We need say no more, and we affirm the judgment essentially for the reasons stated by the district court,” the judges wrote. “We express no view on the underlying merits or on what putative party, if any, might have standing.”

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