A federal appeals court on Saturday rejected a Republican congressman's bid to allow Vice President Mike Pence to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's November 3 election victory in favor of President Donald Trump. The Justice Department, representing Pence, had opposed the lawsuit.
L. Lin Wood, the celebrity Georgia attorney and Trump ally, tweeted that Pence should face a firing squad and that Republicans were now collaborating with "Globalists like George Soros & the Elitists like Bill Gates to steal the election from Trump."
Since November 3, Wood has filed multiple failed lawsuits attempting to overturn election results in Trump's favor and a lawsuit to halt the Georgia runoff elections for the U.S. Senate.
Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis disavowed Wood’s statements on Twitter, writing, “To be clear: I do not support the statements from Attorney Lin Wood. I support the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.”
In a brief order, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge's decision from Friday to toss U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert's lawsuit, which had argued that Pence had the power to invalidate Biden's win when Congress meets to certify the results on Wednesday.
Republican President Trump has refused to concede to Biden, claiming without evidence that his victory was due to widespread fraud. Dozens of election officials and judges around the country have dismissed Trump's allegations.
Under the U.S. system, the presidency is determined by the Electoral College, which allots electoral votes to states and the District of Columbia based on congressional representation. Biden, who won the national popular vote by more than 7 million votes, prevailed in the Electoral College 306-232.
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U.S. law requires Congress to formally count the electoral vote on January 6.
Gohmert, a Texas Republican and staunch Trump ally, filed the lawsuit along with Republican electors from Arizona, asserting that Pence could throw out electoral votes in his role as the presiding officer of the Senate.
But U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, ruled on Friday that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because they had not suffered any personal harm.
The 5th Circuit judges, all appointed by Republican presidents, including a Trump appointee, agreed.
Some Congressional Republicans have said they will object to the electoral count, though their effort appears to have no chance of altering the outcome. On Saturday, Senator Ted Cruz announced a group of 11 senators would challenge Biden's tally.