(WAB NEWS) – A federal judge dealt a fatal blow to Trump’s campaign effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Saturday by dismissing a lawsuit that sought to invalidate millions of Pennsylvania votes.
“It is not in the power of this Court to violate the Constitution,” Judge Matthew Brann of the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania wrote in a withering decision on Saturday, hours after the last round of case presentations arrived. The judge categorically rejected the Trump campaign’s attempt to scrap the Pennsylvania vote, noting that Biden won the state and the results will be certified by state officials on Monday. Biden has a margin of more than 81,000 votes in the state.
“In the United States, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, much less of all voters in its sixth most populous state. Our people, laws and institutions demand more ”, wrote the judge. “Ultimately, the plaintiffs have not met their burden of filing a claim for which redress can be awarded.”RELATED
Although it was always extremely unlikely that the case would succeed, President Donald Trump’s supporters and legal team, and in particular his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, had pinned their hopes that the Pennsylvania federal judge would give some credence to their suspicions of fraud and entertained Trump’s attempt. to revoke Biden’s popular vote.
But Brann, a longtime Pennsylvania Republican, refused.
This was essentially the last major case seeking to discard or block enough votes that could tip a key state in favor of Trump, and Brann’s decision on Saturday is at least the 30th loss or withdrawal of a Trump campaign case and his assistants since Election Day. There have only been two court victories for Republicans, roughly a very small number of votes.
“The plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters. This Court has not been able to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in an election contest, in terms of the large volume of votes requested to be invalidated, ”Brann wrote on Saturday.
In the case, the Trump legal team led by Giuliani attempted to claim that the Equal Protection rights of two Pennsylvania voters were violated because the state had allowed counties to decide whether voters could fix absentee ballots sent out with problems. technicians. The two voters in the lawsuit said that in their counties, they were not allowed to “cure” their ballots and therefore their ballots were rejected, while other counties, such as strongly Democratic Philadelphia County, allowed voters “Cure” absent ballots.
That discrepancy, they claimed, meant that Pennsylvania’s election results as a whole should be blocked by court order, which could theoretically deprive Biden of the state’s 20 Electoral College votes.
Brann called the legal reasoning behind the Trump campaign’s Equal Protection claim “Frankenstein’s monster.”
“The answer to invalid ballots is not to invalidate millions more,” Brann wrote.
Brann also admonished the Trump campaign for failing to present factual evidence of voter fraud or other allegations – evidence that supporters of Giuliani and Trump have repeatedly said is in process, but has never materialized. Election officials in several states, as well as judges, have said there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 elections.
Giuliani, who had infiltrated the case in the last minute before a hearing Tuesday before Brann, has been widely criticized for ignoring legal reasoning, leading a team that made careless mistakes in its filings and pushing for pointless conspiracy claims. and unfounded against Trump in Democratic-leaning cities.
“One might hope that in seeking such a surprising result, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual evidence of rampant corruption, so that this Court would have no choice but to grant the proposed injunction despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens. That hasn’t happened, ”added Brann. “Instead, this Court has been presented with tense legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, without presenting in the operative complaint and without evidentiary basis.”
Counties in the state are scheduled to certify their election results on Monday.
The judge said that any further consideration of this issue “would unduly delay the resolution of the issues” related to the certification, and closed the case. His Saturday order notes that the Trump campaign cannot attempt to resurface its claims in a readjusted version of the lawsuit.
The Trump campaign on Saturday night said it would appeal Brann’s ruling, and quickly, with the intention of taking the case to the United States Supreme Court.
Kelly Mena contributed to this report.