Leading a unanimous three-member panel, a federal appellate judge appointed by outgoing President Donald Trump upheld a blistering lower court ruling that said the Trump campaign and Rudy Giuliani’s attempt to block certification of the election results in Pennsylvania was a meritless endeavor.
“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote Friday for the unanimous three-judge panel. “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”
“The Trump Presidential Campaign asserts that Pennsylvania’s 2020 election was unfair. But as lawyer Rudolph Giuliani stressed, the Campaign ‘doesn’t plead fraud. . . … [T]his is not a fraud case.’ … Instead, it objects that Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State and some counties restricted poll watchers and let voters fix technical defects in their mail-in ballots. It offers nothing more,” Bibas added.
Joining in the 21-page opinion were two of George W. Bush‘s Third Circuit appointees: Judge Michael Chagares and the Circuit’s Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith.
None of the exclusively Republican jurists found any fault in the lower court ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, who was appointed by former president Barack Obama but nonetheless spent decades in GOP politics in the Keystone States.
For the panel, the matter at hand transcends politics. It’s simple math.
“First, for the reasons already given, the Campaign is unlikely to succeed on the merits,” the ruling states. “Second, it shows no irreparable harm, offering specific challenges to many fewer ballots than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory. Third, the Campaign is responsible for its delay and repetitive litigation. Finally, the public interest strongly favors finality, counting every lawful voter’s vote, and not disenfranchising millions of Pennsylvania voters who voted by mail. Plus, discarding those votes could disrupt every other election on the ballot.”
Having already revised their frequently shifted claims before, the Trump campaign had hoped the appellate court would grant them another opportunity to file an additional complaint. The three-judge panel denied that.
This is a developing story…
Read the ruling here:
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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