A federal judge dealt a fatal blow to Trump’s campaign effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory for the presidency on Saturday by dismissing a closely watched 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 United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania wrote Saturday in a withering decision, hours after the last round of submissions from the case. .
The judge wholeheartedly 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 of America, 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 on which relief can be awarded.”
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 Giulian, had pinned their hopes that the Pennsylvania federal judge would give some credence to their suspicions of fraud and entertained Trump’s attempt to reverse the popular vote for Biden.
But Brann, a longtime Pennsylvania Republican, refused.
Shortly after the decision was made, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania congratulated Biden as president-elect, breaking with party leaders and a large majority of Congressional Republicans who continue to back Trump’s efforts to challenge the results.
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 your allies since the elections. Day.
There have only been two court victories for Republicans, roughly a very small number of votes.
“The Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise nearly seven million voters. This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in an election contest, in terms of the grand volume of votes requested to be invalidated, “Brann wrote on Saturday.
In the case, the Trump legal team led by Giuliani had 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 with technical problems.
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 senseless conspiracy accusations. 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. about such a large group of citizens. That has not happened, “added Brann.
“Instead, this Court has been presented with tense legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, neglected 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 they would appeal Brann’s ruling, and quickly, with the intention of taking the case to the United States Supreme Court.
Toomey emerged as a rare Republican voice so far acknowledging that Trump’s legal avenues have come to an end.
With today’s decision by Judge Matthew Brann, a longtime conservative Republican who I know to be a fair and impartial jurist, to dismiss the Trump campaign lawsuit, President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge. the outcome of the presidential race in Pennsylvania, “the Republican senator said in a statement.
“These events, along with the results in the rest of the nation, confirm that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and will become the 46th president of the United States.”
Mike Gwin, a spokesman for Biden, praised the decision to dismiss the lawsuit.
“The judge’s ruling could not be clearer: our people, laws and institutions demand more, and our country will not tolerate Trump’s attempt to reverse the results of an election that he lost decisively,” Gwin said in a statement.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro also praised the decision in a statement Saturday night. “These claims were without merit from the beginning and for a hearing of one. The will of the people shall prevail. These unsubstantiated claims must end,” he said.