WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives requested a federal decide in Texas on Thursday to dismiss a Republican congressman’s lawsuit searching for to offer Vice President Mike Pence the facility to resolve which electoral votes to depend when Congress meets on Jan. 6 to finalize November’s presidential election.
The House made the request after Mr. Pence himself weighed in in opposition to the plaintiffs — Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas and a number of other Arizona Republicans who unsuccessfully ran to be presidential electors — in a Justice Department temporary calling the go well with a “walking legal contradiction.” Mr. Gohmert named Mr. Pence as the only defendant, which the Justice Department famous is “ironically the very person whose power they seek to promote.”
According to a courtroom submitting, Mr. Gohmert’s legal professionals tried to succeed in an settlement with Mr. Pence concerning the lawsuit, however these discussions had been unsuccessful.
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, left, and Vice President Mike Pence.
Mr. Gohmert’s lawsuit challenges the procedures that can govern Congress’s counting of electoral votes subsequent week, which can cement President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Further, the lawsuit argues that the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which assigns the vp a ceremonial position in saying the election outcomes, circumscribes his energy underneath the twelfth Amendment.
The twelfth Amendment states “the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.”
“Under the 12th Amendment, Defendant Pence alone has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to open and permit the counting of the electoral votes for a given state, and where there are competing slates of electors, or where there is objection to any single slate of electors, to determine which electors’ votes, or whether none, shall be counted,” Mr. Gohmert’s temporary says.
“The Amendment’s use of the active voice and mention of the Vice President in the first clause—‘The President of the Senate shall…open all the certificates’—in contrast with its use of the passive voice and omission of the Vice President from the second clause—‘the votes shall then be counted’—demonstrates that the Amendment assigns the Vice President the task of opening the certificates and leaves the counting of the votes to others,” House General Counsel Douglas Letter wrote in his response.
The Justice Department, whereas avoiding an opinion on the twelfth Amendment, prompt that Mr. Gohmert would possibly as an alternative sue Congress itself, because the 1887 act vests the legislature with powers that they’re searching for to switch to Mr. Pence.
The division is appearing on behalf of Mr. Pence as a result of he was sued in his official capacity.
Siobhan Hughes and Deanna Paul contributed to this text.