House Asks Court to Dismiss Effort to Clarify Vice President’s Power in Electoral Counting NTD

The House of Representatives is asking a court to reject a petition from Republicans that requests judges to say Vice President Mike Pence has the authority to reject some electoral votes.

“This Court should reject plaintiffs’ effort to overturn Congress’s centuries-old role in counting electoral votes and resolving disputes about them in the constitutionally mandated Joint Session,” the House said in an amicus brief on Dec. 31.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and other Republicans this week sued Pence, asking a judge to authorize Pence to pick Republican electors over Democratic ones. They said the U.S. Constitution gives Pence the “exclusive authority” to decide which Electoral College votes to count, and that a portion of the Electoral Count Act of 1877 is unconstitutional.

The suit centers around the joint session of Congress that’s held every four years to count electoral votes. Electors meet in each states under the Electoral College system after presidential elections and cast ballots for the candidate that won the most votes in their respective states.

In seven states this election, competing electors also cast ballots for President Donald Trump.

The Democrat-controlled House in its new filing says the vice president during counting sessions, per the 1877 Act, “opens the electors’ certificates, but does not count the votes.”

The court should reject the claim because the plaintiffs lack standing, the suit is not timely, and the constitutional challenges “have no merit.”

“And the public interest and equities cut strongly against a first-of-its-kind injunction that would rewrite longstanding procedural rules for Congressional vote counting and create confusion just days before the required Joint Session,” it added.

 

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