US appeals court rejects Trump’s challenge to Pennsylvania race


PHILADELPHIA – US President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court on Friday as a Philadelphia federal appeals court categorically rejected the campaign’s latest effort to challenge the state’s election results . Trump’s lawyers have vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges’ assessment that “the campaign’s claims are baseless.”

“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. The accusations of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair doesn’t make it that way. Charges require specific allegations, then evidence. We have neither here, ”wrote Trump-appointed 3rd Circuit judge Stephanos Bibas for the panel of three judges, all appointed by Republican presidents.

The case was argued last week in a lower court by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of argument that the 2020 presidential election was marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania . However, Giuliani did not provide any tangible evidence of this in court.

US District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, said the campaign’s error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s monster, was welded at random” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it a second. times.

The Third US Court of Appeal called any review “futile.” Chief Justice D. Brooks Smith and Justice Michael Chagares were on the panel along with Bibas, a former law professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, served on the tribunal for 20 years and retired in 2019.

“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. The ballots, not the writs, decide elections, ”Bibas said in the opinion, which also rejected the campaign’s request to prevent the state from certifying its results, a request he called of “astounding”.

In fact, Pennsylvania officials announced on Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who beat Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and his vice-candidate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record high in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race like it did in 2000, when his decision to stop the Florida recount gave Republican George W. Bush the election. On November 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying “The United States Supreme Court should decide!”

Trump and his surrogates have since attacked the election as flawed and filed a wave of lawsuits in an attempt to block the results in six battlefield states. But they found little sympathy from the judges, who almost all dismissed their complaints about the safety of postal ballots, which millions of people used to vote at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump may be hoping that a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleadings, especially since the High Court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept the Mail-in ballots until November 6 by a 4-4 vote only. month. Since then, Trump candidate Amy Coney Barrett has joined the tribunal.

“The militant justice machine in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday’s ruling. “TO SCOTUS!”

In this case, the Trump campaign has called for the state’s 6.8 million voters to be deprived or at least “selected” of the 1.5 million who cast their mail ballots in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other parts of the city. ‘other Democratic-leaning regions, the appeals court said.

“One would expect that, in seeking such a surprising result, a plaintiff would be formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual evidence of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his ruling. scathing of November 21. ” This does not happen. ”

A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week is to prevent the state from further certifying ballot races. The administration of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is fighting the effort, saying it would prevent the legislature and the Congressional delegation from sitting in the weeks to come.

On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Still, he said for the first time that he would leave the White House on Jan.20 if the Electoral College formalized Biden’s victory.

“Definitely I will. But you know it, ”Trump said at the White House, answering reporters’ questions for the first time since polling day.

On Twitter on Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other democratic cities with large black populations as a source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll observer had discovered computer memory readers that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” each.

All 50 states must certify their results before the electoral college meets on December 14, and any disputes over the results must be resolved by December 8. Biden won both the electoral college and the popular vote by wide margins.


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