The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday formally rejected Rep. Louie Gohmert’s (R-Texas) quixotic bid to imbue Vice President Mike Pence with the unprecedented power to reject certified state election results and unilaterally choose the next U.S. President.
The unceremonious denial of the application for emergency relief via a single-sentence on an unsigned order was inevitable after Congress completed counting the electoral votes early Thursday morning, certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Unsurprisingly, none of the justices issued a public dissent.
“The application for interim relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied,” the court said.
Joined by a coalition of right-wing Trump acolytes that included chair of the Arizona Republican Party Kelli Ward, the application asked the justices to declare that a post-Reconstruction era law violated the Twelfth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in an effort to overturn the election in favor of President Trump.
As previously reported by Law&Crime, Gohmert’s effort, aided by former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, was widely expected to fail in the high court just as it did at both the district and circuit court levels. The application argued that under the U.S. Constitution, the vice president could “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,” the application stated.
Like many GOP-backed filings challenging the election results, the application was rife with false claims, conspiracy theories, and misstatements of law. Powell and Gohmert deflected blame for the procession of previous legal losses in election suits on cowardly judges instead of a lack of evidence and legal standing. The duo also filed the application about two hours before the proceedings in which they were asking the justices to intervene, making it virtually impossible for the court to comply with the request.
Gohmert has been widely criticized for contributing to the misinformation campaign that helped incite Trump supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol, taking control of the building with members of Congress still inside.
For his part, Pence publicly declared that he did not believe he had the power to reject states’ certified election results.
“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” he wrote is a letter to his colleagues.
After that, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, destroying and stealing property, trashing lawmakers’ offices, rummaging through the files, and menacing reporters, law enforcement and public officials. They were seen scaling the walls, filling the halls, derailing the joint session of Congress, and for several hours delaying the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election win. There have been four deaths in the wake of the riot.
Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by Capitol police, while three other people are said to have died from “separate medical emergencies” near the Capitol. One of three has been identified as Kevin Greeson, a 55-year-old from Alabama. His family said he was an “advocate of President Trump” and died of a “heart attack” in the “midst of the excitement.”
[image via YouTube screengrab]
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