The Trump campaign cannot block certification of Pennsylvania’s election results, which made Joe Biden President-elect of the United States, based on nothing more than “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusation,” a federal judge ruled in a blistering opinion on Saturday night.
“In other words, Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters,” U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann wrote in a 37-page opinion. “This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated. One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens.”
“That has not happened,” Brann emphasized. “Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”
The Pennsylvania lawsuit was the first federal case in which Rudy Giuliani last registered an appearance since 1992, and most legal observers felt that it would have been a parade of bloopers if it did not have the serious goal of overturning the results of a lawful election. Giuliani flubbed basic concepts of law, fact and the English language.
Giuliani claimed that the fact that certain Pennsylvania counties gave mail-in voters who made mistakes on their ballots, thereby increasing access to the ballot, violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
Judge Brann found that argument reminiscent of a Mary Shelley‘s most famous Gothic novel.
“This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together from two distinct theories in an attempt to avoid controlling precedent,” Brann wrote.
The Trump campaign’s theories of the case kept changing. The initial lawsuit used variations of the phrase “voter fraud” some 33 times until the law firm that filed that one, Porter Wright, backed out, and the new lawyers deleted every reference to those allegations in a second complaint.
“This is not a fraud case,” Giuliani later admitted to the judge, in a backflip of the rhetoric he strikes in front of the cameras.
Mark Aronchick, an attorney for the Pennsylvania counties sued, called Giulaini’s smears of election workers “disgraceful.”
Before today’s ruling, the Trump campaign wanted a third bite of the apple to amend their complaint yet again, but Judge Brann found another re-do unjustified.
“Among the grounds that could justify a denial of leave to amend are undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, prejudice, and futility,” he wrote.
Read the 37-page ruling below:
[image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]
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