U.S. judge calls Trump claim challenging Biden win in Pennsylvania 'Frankenstein's Monster'
By Jan Wolfe and Tom Hals
(Reuters) - A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit crucial in President Donald Trump's long-term attempt to overturn his November 3 election loss to Democratic-elected President Joe Biden, calling his legal claim "Frankenstein's monster" .
The Trump campaign had tried to prevent state officials from confirming the results of the elections in the state.
US District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, described the case as "strained legal arguments with no merit or speculative allegations."
Brann, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama, said he had "no authority to deprive even one person of the vote, let alone millions of citizens."
Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said in a statement that he was disappointed with the verdict. "Today's decision helps us with our strategy of getting to the US Supreme Court quickly," he said.
The campaign will call on the US 3rd Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to review the verdict on an expedited schedule, Giuliani said. A majority of the judges in this circle were nominated by Republican presidents. Four were nominated by Trump.
The Brann lawsuit, filed on November 9, alleged inconsistent handling of postal ballot papers by county election officials. Some counties told voters that they could fix minor flaws such as a lack of "secrecy envelopes" while others did not.
"That claim was haphazardly stitched together like Frankenstein's monster," wrote Brann.
In order for Trump to have any hope of overturning the election, he must reverse the Pennsylvania result, due to be confirmed by state officials on Monday.
"Today's decision is a victory for the rule of law and for the Pennsylvania voters who tried the Trump campaign to disenfranchise the weakest legal theory imaginable," wrote electoral law scholar Rick Hasen on Twitter.
The Trump campaign and its supporters have filed dozens of lawsuits in six highly competitive states. The campaign's only wins extended polling time at a handful of polling stations in Nevada and, according to court records, put aside some preliminary ballot papers in Pennsylvania.
Attempts to thwart the confirmation of the election have failed in courts in Georgia, Michigan and Arizona.
In the Pennsylvania case, Brann also denied a campaign motion to amend the lawsuit to allege violations of the US Constitution. The campaign wanted Brann to allow Republican-controlled Pennsylvania lawmakers to nominate voters who would return for Trump in the December 14 vote at Electoral College.
Under Pennsylvania law, the candidate who wins the state's referendum receives all of the state's electoral votes.
It takes 270 votes for a presidential candidate to win the election, and Biden leads the election with 306-232.
Votes are distributed among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, based roughly on population.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; additional reporting by Raphael Satter and Aram Roston; editing by Daniel Wallis, Dan Grebler and Noeleen Walder)
In this article
Election Center 2020
Click to receive the most important news as a notification!
The Latest: India's daily cases below 50,000 for a month
Abbott (ABT) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know
Gold Price Forecast – Gold Markets Sees Profit-Taking
Farmers' protests snarl traffic, lead to clashes in Peru
Biden Diversity Push Turns Tense Over Unfilled Top-Tier Jobs
Jack Ma’s Ant Group, 3 Other Digital Banks Get OK to Operate in Singapore