On Friday, a federal judge dismissed what the media likes to misleadingly call a “key election lawsuit.” It never had much chance of getting off the ground in the first place. The whole mess of legal challenges underscores exactly why the President has been given the opportunity to declare a national emergency.
Election fraud challenges can’t be rushed
If a lawsuit has any chance of winning, it must be put together carefully, not slapped together as a last ditch effort. Patriotic lawmakers and officials who take their oath of office to uphold the Constitution seriously have been scrambling to present their fraud evidence in court.
They are forced to rush because of mandated timelines for the election process. Like most of the litigation filed so far, the suit filed by Texas lawmaker Louie Gohmert in tandem with Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward, meant well but didn’t have a legal leg to stand on.
Our founding fathers recognized that the wheels of justice turn slowly, so even at the last minute, President Donald Trump can stop the election clock by declaring a national emergency. Men like Ben Franklin and Sam Adams went to great lengths to limit the powers of government through a three pronged distribution of duties that provides “checks and balances.”
Wise enough to realize corruption would eventually set in to even the most carefully crafted system of government, they gave the President some radical powers to be used only in case of emergency. When there isn’t time to wait for the courts or Congress, the president can do as he feels necessary and nobody can stop him. The courts and congress can settle things later, after the emergency is over and the dust settles.
Gohmert and Ward were challenging Vice President Mike Pence directly, urging him to set aside his constitutionally determined role when he presides over the special joint session of congress January 6.
On Wednesday, what is usually a mere ceremonial formality will take on new significance as objections are expected to be raised and seconded to the results of at least 6 states, due to overwhelming evidence of widespread election fraud.
A walking legal contradiction
The lawsuit requested the court to find the election law invalid, “arguing that it places an unconstitutional constraint on the vice president’s authority.”
When Pence got his copy he was stunned. Justice Department attorneys responded for him, calling the suit a “walking legal contradiction” because it sought to empower him as vice president, yet he was the lawsuit’s only named defendant. There are better ways to handle this crisis.
Conservative Judge Jeremy Kernodle in the Eastern District of Texas had no choice but to dismiss the lawsuit, sympathetically explaining to plaintiffs where they went wrong and leaving the door open to them refiling another election challenge suit with better arguments.
“One crucial component of jurisdiction is that the plaintiffs have standing. This requires the plaintiffs to show a personal injury that is fairly traceable to the defendant’s allegedly unlawful conduct and is likely to be redressed by the requested relief.”
“The problem for Plaintiffs here is that they lack standing. Plaintiff Louie Gohmert, the United States Representative for Texas’s First Congressional District, alleges at most an institutional injury to the House of Representatives. Under well-settled Supreme Court authority, that is insufficient to support standing.”
Kelli Ward didn’t have much better luck with her fight over the Arizona election. “The other Plaintiffs, the slate of Republican Presidential Electors for the State of Arizona (the “Nominee-Electors”), allege an injury that is not fairly traceable to the Defendant, the Vice President of the United States, and is unlikely to be redressed by the requested relief.” Better luck next time. Hopefully, the fight in congress on Wednesday will make it a moot point.