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Louie Gohmert sues Pence in far-fetched bid to overturn election results on Jan. 6

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 12/28/2020 Elizabeth Thompson, The Dallas Morning News

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler is suing Vice President Mike Pence in an improbable bid to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Gohmert and several other Republicans named in the suit, including the Republican slate of electors from Arizona, aim to allow Pence to overturn Trump’s defeat in some key states when Congress meets to count Electoral College votes on Jan. 6. The vice president traditionally presides over this meeting as president of the Senate, where they officially announce the results of the election.

The lawsuit challenges the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which dictates the vice president’s role in announcing the results as a ceremonial one. Instead, it says this federal law violates the Twelfth Amendment, which provides for separate Electoral College votes for president and vice president. The lawsuit is filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Gohmert is asking Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a U.S. District judge in Tyler who was appointed by Trump, to allow Pence to choose which electoral votes to count in key states President Donald Trump lost.

Trump retweeted a supporter’s theory that Pence could overthrow the results of the election last week.

Legal and election experts immediately took to Twitter to debunk the lawsuit.

“If the Twelfth Amendment somehow gave the Vice President the power to unilaterally throw out electoral votes for the other guy in favor of their own party (and even *themselves*), one might think that one of them would’ve noticed by now,” Steven Vladeck, professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Rick Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine said, “No, this won’t work.”

Gohmert is one of several Texas legislators who have committed to object to the Electoral College vote count. He signed a letter with Reps. Brian Babin of Woodville, Lance Gooden of Terrell and Randy Weber of Friendswood saying they all would object to the results of the presidential election if Congress does not investigate claims of alleged voter fraud by Jan. 6.

Congress will only debate the results if a senator joins the congressmen. So far, only Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has indicated he might object to the results.

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