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Appeals Court Rejects Another Trump Challenge to Pennsylvania Results

Appeals Court Rejects Another Trump Challenge to Pennsylvania Results

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania on Friday rejected Donald Trump’s attempt at a do-over with its lawsuit challenging results of the presidential election in that state. The ruling, written by Trump-appointed Judge Stephanos Bibas, turns away the president’s move to block certification of Pennsylvania’s election results.

Just last Saturday Judge Matthew Brann of the US District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania had issued a withering rejection of the initial lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign, which had asked that millions of votes be invalidated. Trump and his “elite strike force” of Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis didn’t like the ruling so they filed an appeal asking if they could amend their lawsuit for a second time. Today the appeals court denied that request, driving yet another stake into the heart of Trump’s stolen election conspiracy theory.

In a tweet Ellis indicated the campaign will appeal to the Supreme Court.

In its denial of Trump’s appeal, Bibas’s sharply worded opinion states: “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. 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.”

Trump’s lawsuit didn’t actually allege that fraud had occurred in the counting of ballots because it could offer no proof. If it had done so the lawyers filing the action could have faced sanctions from the court. Instead they argued they just didn’t like where observers were positioned during ballot counting. The appeals court, however, pointed out that federal law doesn’t specify how poll watchers are to observe.

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“The Campaign’s claims have no merit,” the court wrote. “The number of ballots it specifically challenges is far smaller than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory. And it never claims fraud or that any votes were cast by illegal voters. Plus, 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. That remedy would be grossly disproportionate to the procedural challenges raised. So we deny the motion for an injunction pending appeal.”

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