Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, outside the Capitol, December 3, 2020.
Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
Rep. Louie Gohmert was the youngest Republican to file a long-term lawsuit to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory – this time by suing Vice President Mike Pence.
The final legal effort filed on Sunday came from Gohmert, an eight-year-old Texas Congressman, along with eleven Arizona residents who had been nominated as voters by that state’s Republican Party.
It will be more than a week before Pence will chair a joint congressional session where the electoral college will vote for Biden and President Donald Trump.
The voters had cast their votes two weeks earlier. Biden got 306 votes – 36 more than he needed to win – while Trump got 232.
The lawsuit asked Federal Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee in east Texas, to explain that Pence has “exclusive power and discretion” to determine which votes of a given state should be counted.
While pro-Trump voters in some states that Biden won symbolically cast their own ballots, experts say those votes have no legal weight.
The Republican Complaint alleges that part of the Election Census Act of 1887 should be declared unconstitutional because it conflicts with the 12th Amendment.
This amendment contains “the exclusive dispute settlement mechanisms,” the lawsuit states, including the fact that “Vice President Pence determines which list of votes the voter counts or does not count for that state”.
Legal scholars were quick to dismiss the Republicans’ lawsuit as hopelessly far-fetched.
“No, it won’t work,” tweeted electoral law expert Rick Hasen of the University of California at Irvine.
“The suit won’t go anywhere,” wrote Joshua Geltzer, executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University.
“This is insane,” tweeted Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis.
Pence’s office spokesmen did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The lawsuit also alleges that “public reports” have “highlighted” widespread electoral fraud in battlefield states, citing a document from White House Adviser Peter Navarro containing numerous allegations that were rejected in other lawsuits or by fact-checkers were exposed.
Trump has refused to allow Biden. He has falsely claimed he won the race while publicly pressuring Republican lawmakers to “stand up for the presidency”. At the same time, Trump is spreading unfounded and debunked conspiracy theories claiming widespread election and election fraud.
Some House Republicans have said they will challenge the election results when Congress meets on January 6 to count the votes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Has reportedly urged his caucus not to raise similar objections.
Objections to the votes must be submitted in writing and signed by at least one House and one Senate member. If an objection is raised, the two chambers will consider the objection separately.
The Trump campaign and several of the president’s allies have launched dozens of attempts to challenge election results in numerous swing states. Neither of these legal efforts has managed to invalidate Biden’s votes or reverse the results of any state’s presidential election.
In early December, the US Supreme Court rejected an offer from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to sue four major swing states for changing voting procedures. Trump called this lawsuit “the big one”.