Judge Tosses Trump's Bid to Block Pa. Vote Certification

Says campaign presented 'strained legal arguments without merit'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2020 5:37 AM CST
Judge Tosses Trump's Bid to Block Pa. Vote Certification
US Middle District Judge Matthew Brann, a federal judge in Pennsylvania, says he won’t stop officials from certifying election results that show Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes. Brann on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 turned down the request by President Trump’s campaign.   (Mark Nance/Sun-Gazette via AP, File)

Pennsylvania officials can certify election results that show Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes, US District Judge Matthew Brann ruled Saturday, dealing President Trump’s campaign another blow in its effort to invalidate the election. In his ruling, Brann said the Trump campaign presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations ... unsupported by evidence." “In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state,” the opinion said, per the AP. “Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.” Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis pointed to the decision as a positive in their effort to push the case to the US Supreme Court.

Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, returned to court for the first time in decades Tuesday, and showed some rustiness. Giuliani repeatedly contended that it was illegal for counties to help people vote. Opposing lawyer Mark Aronchick suggested Giuliani must not know Pennsylvania election code. Trump had argued that the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law was violated when Pennsylvania counties took different approaches to notifying voters before the election about technical problems with their submitted mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and the seven Biden-majority counties that the campaign sued had argued Trump previously raised similar claims and lost. They told Brann the remedy the Trump campaign sought, to throw out millions of votes over alleged isolated issues, was far too extreme, particularly after most have been tallied. “There is no justification... for the radical disenfranchisement they seek,” Boockvar’s lawyers wrote.

(More Election 2020 stories.)

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