Gohmert “Pence Card” Lawsuit Tossed For Standing
Rep. Louie Gohmert’s so-called “Pence Card” lawsuit to empower the Vice President to change the 2020 presidential election results has been dismissed:
U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle issued an order dismissing the case because, he found, neither Gohmert nor his fellow plaintiffs have a sufficient legal stake in the process to justify the lawsuit. Kernodle was nominated to the federal bench by President Trump.
The judge’s ruling comes less than 12 hours after lawyers for Gohmert filed court papers arguing that Vice President Pence has far more power than the government claims to alter the outcome of the presidential election. Gohmert’s lawyers filed a notice of appeal later Friday night.
Kernodle wrote that previous court cases make clear that an individual member of Congress cannot sue for a harm supposedly done to the larger legislature. Additionally, the judge found, Gohmert’s claim of harm is a series of hypothetical scenarios stacked on top of each other, further undercutting any authority for the court to intervene.
“Plaintiffs presuppose what the Vice President will do on January 6, which electoral votes the Vice President will count or reject from contested states, whether a Representative and a Senator will object under Section 15 of the Electoral Count Act, how each member of the House and Senate will vote on any such objections, and how each state delegation in the House would potentially vote under the Twelfth Amendment absent a majority electoral vote,” the judge wrote. “All that makes Congressman Gohmert’s alleged injury far too uncertain to support standing.”
In response to a Justice Department request to reject the suit, the Friday filing by Gohmert’s legal team accused the government of trying to “hide behind procedural arguments.” Gohmert’s lawyers contended that arguments made by the Justice Department and Congress — that the suit upends long-established procedures and that Pence is an inappropriate target for the suit — are unfounded.
Gohmert’s lawyers have filed an appeal.
For a thorough breakdown of how the January 6th Joint Session to certify the election is supposed to work, and a debunking of some of the loonier machinations to try and change the inevitable, Burt Likko explains here.