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article imageVice-President Pence urges Texas court to reject Gohmert lawsuit

By Karen Graham     Jan 1, 2021 in Politics
Vice-president Mike Pence's lawyers have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Rep. Louie Gohmert, that declares that Pence has the “exclusive authority and sole discretion” to ignore the electoral votes of some states on January 6.
In a 14-page filing by Justice Department attorneys Thursday evening, Pence claimed the lawsuit should be brought against Congress, and not Pence.
"[T]hese plaintiffs' suit is not a proper vehicle for addressing those issues because plaintiffs have sued the wrong defendant," the response states, continuing that Pence "is ironically the very person whose power they seek to promote."
DOJ lawyers are also asking Texas Federal Court Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, to reject Gohmert's request that he issue an emergency injunction that purportedly would empower Pence to ignore the Electoral College votes from a handful of battleground states who have given Biden his margin of victory over President Donald Trump, reports CNBC News.
US Vice President Mike Pence
US Vice President Mike Pence
SAUL LOEB, AFP/File
"Plaintiffs have presented this Court with an emergency motion raising a host of weighty legal issues about the manner in which the electoral votes for President are to be counted," Pence's filing states. "But these plaintiffs' suit is not a proper vehicle for addressing those issues because plaintiffs have sued the wrong defendant."
Pence is a glorified envelope opener
In a response to the DOJ filing on Thursday, lawyers for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) filed new court papers Friday, arguing that Vice President Pence has far more power than the government claims to alter the outcome, according to the Washington Post.
Gohmert's Friday filing accused the government of trying to “hide behind procedural arguments.” The filing also claims that arguments by the DOJ that a change in procedure would "upend long-established procedures," and that Pence is an inappropriate target for the suit — are unfounded.
Rep. Louie Gohmert
Rep. Louie Gohmert
Mark Taylor / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
“They say that the Vice President, the glorified envelope-opener in chief, has no authority to preside over anything else or to decide anything of substance or to even count the votes in those weighty envelopes. He is only the envelope-opener,” Gohmert’s filing states.
The Friday filing states that Pence “may count elector votes certified by a state’s executive, or he can prefer a competing slate of duly qualified electors. He may ignore all electors from a certain state. That is the power bestowed upon him by the Constitution."
Speaking of the 12th Amendment
Gohmert's claims are disputed by legal experts who will quickly tell us that the role of the Vice-president is to preside over the counting of the votes submitted by the Electoral College. His role does not include judging which votes he thinks are legal or illegal. This cornerstone of the election process is spelled out in the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Winning Arizona gives Biden a 290-217 lead over Trump in the Electoral College that ultimately decid...
Winning Arizona gives Biden a 290-217 lead over Trump in the Electoral College that ultimately decides the presidency
Angela Weiss, AFP/File
In line with the lack of validity of the Gohmert lawsuit, Douglas Letter, the general counsel for the House of Representatives filed his own brief late on Thursday, urging Justice Kernodle to dismiss the lawsuit.
“Setting aside Representative Gohmert’s claims — for which he clearly lacks standing — this case is simply another attempt by defeated Arizona electoral nominees to overturn the results of the popular vote in their state," Letter wrote.
“The Arizona plaintiffs have tried and failed to overturn the election in suits they filed in federal and state courts in Arizona. Thus, they now ask this Court in Texas to help them achieve what they failed to do in Arizona. This Court should reject plaintiffs’ bid to overturn a cornerstone of our Nation’s democratic processes.”
Every four years Americans and others are confounded by the Electoral College  whose sole purpose is...
Every four years Americans and others are confounded by the Electoral College, whose sole purpose is to determine the US president according to the popular vote in each state
Brendan Smialowski, AFP/File
Procedure for electing the president and vice-president
Under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution, as modified in 1804 by the Twelfth Amendment, it stipulated that states could select electors in any manner they desired and in a number equal to their congressional representation (senators plus representatives).
Take note of the clause that says that "states could select electors in any manner they desired." So, now let's follow along and see what happens. First of all, we know that on December 23, 2020, certification of the Electoral College ballots was received by the President of the Senate or the archivist.
US President-elect Joe Biden  seen with his wife Dr Jill Biden  advanced closer towards his January ...
US President-elect Joe Biden, seen with his wife Dr Jill Biden, advanced closer towards his January 20, 2021 inauguration with the Electoral College formally affirming his election victory over President Donald Trump
ROBERTO SCHMIDT, AFP
At the first meeting of Congress, set for January 3, 2021, when new House members are sworn in, the Archivist of the United States is required to transmit to the two houses every certificate received from the governors of the states. Three days later, on January 6, a date set by federal law, the counting of the electoral votes will take place.
On January 6, a joint meeting of Congress starts at 1:00 p.m. - with The President of the Senate as the presiding officer. In this case, that person is Vice-president Mike Pence. He will open and present the certificates of the electoral votes of the states and the District of Columbia in alphabetical order.
Under Section 18 of the 12th Amendment, the President of the Senate is to preserve order. If there is an argument or an objection to an electoral vote, it would be up to Pence to make sure that the proper procedure is followed in making the objection. The amendment does not say the President of the Senate, Mike Pence, in this case, can pick and choose which votes should be allowed and which ones are not valid.
More about Gohmert lawsuit, Mike pence, Department of justice, 12th amendment, Electoral college
 
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