A federal appeals court judge—appointed by Donald Trump—tossed out the Trump team’s lawsuit seeking to throw out millions of Pennsylvania ballots.
In a 21-page opinion, Judge Stephanos Bibas rejected the Trump team’s efforts, citing their claims of misconduct were meritless and called its suggested solutions “breathtaking.”
“Voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” the judge wrote. Bibas was one of three judges on the Circuit Court of Appeals panel that consisted entirely of GOP appointees.
The judge’s opinion was announced Friday afternoon and sided with a district court ruling that also rejected it, Politico reported.
Now Trump’s legal team plans to get the case before the Supreme Court. “The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” campaign attorney Jenna Ellis said, in a perplexing reference to the three Republican-appointed judges. “We are very thankful to have had the opportunity to present proof and the facts to the PA state legislature.”
But if a court panel consisting of GOP appointees doesn’t work, it’s likely the case will receive the same outcome if it goes to the higher court.
Since Election day, Trump and his allies, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, have claimed voter fraud. But according to Bibas’ opinion, Giuliani and Trump’s team never claimed voter fraud in their case.
This case falls in line with several other cases brought on by Trump and his administration, baseless claims that there was voter fraud, on top of the fact their claims of ballot issues wouldn’t even make a dent of a difference if a court favored their case. President-elect Joe Biden leads the state of Pennsylvania by 81,000 votes.
“Tossing out millions of mail-in ballots would be drastic and unprecedented, disenfranchising a huge swath of the electorate and upsetting all down-ballot races too,” Bibas wrote, joined by two George W. Bush appointees, D. Brooks Smith, and Michael Chagares. “That remedy would be grossly disproportionate to the procedural challenges raised.”
Bibas and the panel members also rejected the suit for an injunction to stop the state from certifying Biden’s win, a request already turned down earlier by Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar. Bibas stated that the request was already denied and called out the group for simply rewording their attempt for a federal court.
“[I]ts alchemy cannot transmute lead into gold,” Bibas writes. “The Campaign never alleges that any ballot was fraudulent or cast by an illegal voter. It never alleges that any defendant treated the Trump campaign or its votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or its votes. Calling something discrimination does not make it so.”