But in a 14-page filing brought in by the Department of Justice’s attorneys, Pence said that while Gohmert is trying to empower, that claim shouldn’t be placed on him.
“It is the vice president’s discretion against the vice president, the lawsuit against the vice president is a legal contradiction,” Pence said in a statement.
U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Carnold, the Trump appointee who sits in Tyler, Texas, has not scheduled a hearing in the case. Gohmart will file a brief reply to Pence on Friday morning.
Gohmart’s claim, filed Sunday, argues that the Electoral Counting Act of 1887 – a law enacted by the disputed presidential election of 1876 – is unconstitutional because of the constitution imposed on the process of obtaining electoral votes from each state.
Under the Electoral Count Act procedures, the vice-president – presiding over the chamber – opens the alphabetical group of voters in each state. The law also prescribes a process by which legislators will challenge the set of voters, stimulating debates and votes by the House and Senate.
In the case of the 2020 election, Gohmert will be the GOP of dozens of houses. Among the legislators involved, who intend to challenge Baden’s victory, were accused of making baseless claims of fraud. But those challenges seem disastrous in a House controlled by Democrats and a closely divided Senate, where many Republicans say there is no evidence to back up Biden’s victory.
Gohmert is urging the court to throw out the rules altogether, leaving the ambiguous language of the Twelfth Amendment as the only guide to the process. Under that language, Pence will make the final decision on which electoral vote to vote for Congress.
In a 26-page summary of the court’s rejection of Gohmert’s claim, House General Counsel Doug Letter dismissed the attempt as baseless, arguing that both Gohmert and Arizona voters were not standing by to bring it about.
“At the bottom, the lawsuit seeks to register federal courts in a long-delayed and innocuous attack on constitutional processes to confirm the results of the national election for president,” the reporter said.
The letter also says that Gohmert’s argument lacks significant logic: there is no point in giving the framers unilateral control over the vice president of the seat, who becomes the next president, especially when the vice president is a candidate on a ticket. He noted that he would continue the accepted process for the counting of electoral votes, which has been going on for more than 130 years.
“Giving this extraordinary relief to the plaintiffs just a few days before the joint session will not only reward them for their incredible delays,” the letter said, adding that “it has been running congressional counting of electoral votes for more than a century and advancing regular rules.” It will take a risk. People’s confidence in the constitutionally mandated processes to confirm the election results – not the urn upheaval. “
Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Thursday calling Gohmart’s claim an attempt to “unconstitutionally” force Pence to subdue American voters – an attempt he said would fail next week.
“There is no doubt about it,” he said, “that despite this frustratingly unattainable country charade, on January 6, Biden will be confirmed as the 46th President of the United States by accepting the vote of Elect Oral Ralph College Ledge.”
In his brief, Pence points to the House’s objections to Gohmert’s claim because the court rejected it.
“It will be the Senate and House of Representatives who are in the best position to defend the Act. Indeed, as a matter of logic, these are the institutions against which the plaintiff must ‘execute the requested relief,’ says Pence Filing.
The Justice Department’s submission also argues that the lawsuit against Pence is inappropriate for another reason: The Constitution gives legislators broad legal immunity. DOJ lawyers say the clean-up work extends to Pence’s actions in his official capacity as president of the Senate.