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A federal judge on Saturday declined to disenfranchise roughly 7 million voters in the state of Pennsylvania, opting instead to throw out the Trump campaign’s lawsuit that requested he block the state’s election results certification.
In a blistering opinion, Judge Matthew Brann denounced the Trump campaign’s lawyers for trying to toss millions of votes without evidence of any good reason to do so.
“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,” Brann wrote. “That has not happened. Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpaid in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.”
He continued: “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 Trump campaign’s lawyers in the case, Rudy Giuliani and Marc Scaringi, argued earlier this week in a court filing that Pennsylvania election officials partook in “an improper scheme to favor Biden over Trump by counting improper votes.”
The court filing didn’t provide evidence of those claims, yet said the Trump campaign “will seek the remedy of Trump being declared the winner of the legal votes cast in Pennsylvania in the 2020 General Election, and, thus, the recipient of Pennsylvania’s electors.”
President-elect Joe Biden won Pennsylvania with 50% of the votes, compared to Trump’s 48.8%
The judge even chastised the Trump team’s chaotic approach to the case, noting that they “made multiple attempts at amending the pleadings, and have had attorneys both appear and withdraw in a matter of seventy-two hours.”
Giuliani and Scaringi were the only two attorneys still on the case after five previous lawyers quit the case.
Brann rejected virtually every legal argument Giuliani and Scaringi brought in the case. Much of their lawsuit was based on ballot curing: The process where counties will allow voters to fix minor clerical errors with their votes, like forgetting to include the secrecy slip in a mail-in ballot.
In Pennsylvania, some counties permitted ballot curing and some did not. Two of the co-plaintiffs in the case, along with the Trump campaign, were Trump voters whose ballots were rejected, and whose counties did not permit ballot curing.
Rather than sue their own counties to make sure their votes counties, the two voters and the Trump campaign sued almost every other county in Pennsylvania, arguing that the uneven treatment was unfair, and everyone else’s votes should be invalidated.
Brann pointed out that invalidating other people’s votes would “violate the constitution.”
“Plaintiffs seek to remedy the denial of their votes by invalidating the votes of millions of others. Rather than requesting that their votes be counted, they seek to discredit scores of other votes, but only for one race,” Brann wrote. “This is simply not how the Constitution works.
Read Brann’s full opinion below:
This article has been updated.
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