Pennsylvania Judge Dismisses Trump’s Case for Vote Certification 

The Trump campaign has announced that it will seek an expedited appeal to push the case to the US Supreme Court.

3 min read
File image of outgoing US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump’s campaign had a new setback in his effort to block millions of mail-in ballots cast in the 3 November Presidential elections. The campaign’s case wanted to overturn the election results where Democratic-elect Joe Biden emerged as winner. However, the case was dismissed by US District Court Judge Matthew Brann, a federal judge in the state of Pennsylvania on Saturday, 21 November.

The Trump campaign has announced that it will seek an expedited appeal and they believe the latest development will help quicken their effort to push the case to the US Supreme Court.

Couldn’t Demonstrate Evidence of Voter Fraud: Federal Court of Pennsylvania

In a joint statement late Saturday, Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani and the campaign's senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis said that they were disappointed with the ruling but they would seek an expedited appeal to the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals, reports Xinhua news agency.

The US District Court Judge ruled on Saturday that the Trump campaign couldn’t demonstrate evidence of widespread voter fraud that was alleged by the Republican President.

“This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations. 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. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”
US District Court Judge Matthew Brann.

Al Jazeera reported, “This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together,” wrote Judge Brann who was appointed by former Democratic President Barack Obama.

The lawsuit, which was filed on 9 November, claimed inconsistent treatment by county election officials of mail-in ballots, saying some counties in Pennsylvania allowed mail-in voters to fix ballot problems by casting provisional ballots. The campaign alleges that these votes were illegally cast for Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump’s Refusal to Concede Victory

Biden has won 306 Electoral College votes, surpassing the 270 votes needed to clinch the presidency, whereas Trump has won 232 Electoral College votes. Pennsylvania is scheduled to certify its election results on Monday, 23 November, and it has been projected that it will grant its 20 Electoral College votes to Biden, reported IANS.

Trump has refused to concede to Biden’s victory. In order to challenge Biden from being sworn in as president on 20 January, Trump has to prevail in at least three states. The campaign has launched a slew of litigation, challenging the results in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. These efforts, however, have not been fruitful so far, with most being withdrawn by the campaign itself or rejected by courts citing lack of evidence.

Al Jazeera reported a statement by Marc Elias, a Democratic election lawyer who was involved in the case said that out of the 34 cases filed, Trump has only won two of them. The Pennsylvania verdict “is what a complete a**-kicking of the president’s legal effort looks like,” wrote Elias on Twitter.

“As far as litigation goes, I believe this is the end of the line for them,” said Benjamin Geffen of the Public Interest Law Center, who was also involved in the case, reported Al Jazeera

After an exhaustive manual recount of votes in Georgia, on Friday, 20 November, the state certified Biden as the winner of the southern state’s 16 electoral votes. The Democrat won 12,284 more votes than Trump, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia in nearly three decades.

Electoral College representatives will meet on December 14, to formally select the next US President, reported Al Jazeera.

Biden has denounced Trump’s refusal to concede as “totally irresponsible” and a “national embarrassment”.

Critics fear that Trump’s refusal to concede may affect the smooth transition of powers to Biden and may have implications on national security and the tackling of the coronavirus health crisis that has made America the worst-hit country with 254,424 deaths from 11,913,945 cases.

(With inputs from IANS and Al Jazeera)

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