Representative Louis Gohmert (R., Texas) filed a lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence on Monday, in an attempt to grant Pence the authority to overturn the results of the general elections.
President Trump has refused to publicly concede defeat to Joe Biden, claiming that Democrats “stole” the election through widespread voter fraud. While lawyers allied with the president have repeatedly sued to overturn results in swing states, none of those lawyers have presented evidence of voter fraud sufficient to account for Biden’s margin of victory.
Congress will certify the election results on January 6, in a session presided over by the vice president. The Electoral Count Act of 1887 requires the vice president to affirm the winner of the elections, in a largely ceremonial capacity.
However, Gohmert’s suit requests a federal judge in Texas to strike down the 1887 law as unconstitutional, and to grant Pence authority to appoint pro-Trump electors. The move would effectively ensure that Trump returns to office despite losing the election to Biden.
A number of Republican officials joined the suit, including Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party. The suit is almost certain to fail in court.
“The idea that the Vice President has sole authority to determine whether or not to count electoral votes submitted by a state, or which of competing submissions to count, is inconsistent with a proper understanding of the Constitution,” Ohio State University law professor Edward Foley told The Hill.
Following the announcement of Gohmert’s lawsuit, Representative Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) told Fox & Friends on Monday that “dozens” of House Republicans could object to the Electoral College results on January 6. Brooks and his allies require one Senate Republican to join their effort but none have yet committed to doing so. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly urged his caucus not to get involved.