The federal appeals court shot down Trump’s campaign to overthrow the Pennsylvania election result – a sharp decision was written by a judge appointed by the president.
“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. The accusation of injustice is serious. But calling the election unfair doesn’t do that. Fees require specific statements and then justification. He’s not here either, ”Stephanos Bibas wrote in a 21-page opinion issued by the U.S. District Court of Appeals on Friday in a 21-page opinion.
The three-judge panel found the campaign’s grievances to be “nothing more” than allegations that Pennsylvania had restricted pollsters and allowed voters to correct technical errors in their mail.
“The campaign is trying to repackage these state law demands as unconstitutional discrimination. Nevertheless, his claims are vague and convincing, ”he said in the opinion.
“He never claims that someone handled the Trump campaign or that Trump voted worse than he did with the Biden campaign or the Biden votes.”
The decision comes after Pennsylvania has already proven that the president-elect, Joe Biden, was the winner, but makes it clear that Trump has no legal footing to challenge the outcome.
The court said it would not issue an order to withdraw certification because “the Campaign’s allegations have no merit”.
“The number of ballot papers he specifically distributed is far less than the win of roughly 81,000 votes. And it never claims fraud or that illegal voters cast votes, ”the court found.
“Plus, throwing away millions of mail would be drastic and unprecedented if they separated a huge constituency of voters and overturned all the ballot papers as well. This remedy would be severely disproportionate to the procedural challenges raised. The motion to challenge is therefore rejected.
“Voters, not lawyers, elect the president. Elections are not decided by votes but by ballot papers.“
– Judge Stephanos Bibas
The ruling judges were all appointed by Republicans: Bibast, appointed by Trump in 2017, Chief Justice Brooks Smith, appointed in 2001 by President George HWBush; and Judge Michael Chagares, appointed in 2006 by President George W. Bush.
The opinion goes from point to point between the claims made by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and other campaign lawyers, all of which break up. In closing, it seemed that the court found it necessary to articulate some of the legal bases for the president’s team.
“Voters, not lawyers, elect the president. Ballot papers, not briefings, decide the election, ”they wrote.
“Ballot papers here are regulated by the Pennsylvania Electoral Act. No federal law prescribes poll observers or specifies where they should live or how close they may be when counting votes. Nor do federal laws regulate whether to count on ballot papers with minor state law errors or to allow voters to be remedied.
“These are all issues of state law, not the ones we can hear. Earlier lawsuits rejected these allegations. In order to make state law claims federal, the campaign claims discrimination. But his alchemy cannot turn lead into gold.
The decision is the latest in a series of losses Trump has lined up in courts across the country since the election. Yet recently on Friday morning, Trump tweeted that the matter had not yet been resolved.
“Biden can only enter the White House as president if he can prove that his ridiculous ‘80,000,000 votes’ were not obtained fraudulently or illegally,” he said. The tweet, which actually has no basis, was flagged by Twitter.