A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, one day after Vice President Mike Pence and members of the U.S. House objected to it.
District Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a nominee of President Donald Trump, said that Gohmert didn’t have standing to bring legal action.
The lawsuit requests the court to grant Pence as the president of the Senate overseeing the Joint Session of Congress “the exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given State” on Jan. 6.
Gohmert “alleges at most an institutional injury to the House of Representatives,” Kernodle wrote. “Under well-settled Supreme Court authority, that is insufficient to support standing.”
In response, Gohmert told Newsmax, “If I don’t have standing to do that, nobody does.”
Kernodle ruled that the 11 other plaintiffs, including Arizona Republican Electors, claimed an injury that is not “fairly traceable” to Pence.
Gohmert said the attorneys representing the plaintiffs will appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He later asked, “When no one ever has standing, what good is a court system?”
In their 43-page reply to the judge on Saturday, Gohmert and other plaintiffs argue, “Under the Constitution, he has the authority to conduct that proceeding as he sees fit. He may count elector votes certified by a state’s executive, or he can prefer a competing slate of duly qualified electors. He may ignore all electors from a certain state. That is the power bestowed upon him by the Constitution.”
The day before the judge’s ruling, Pence’s attorneys filed a brief arguing that the plaintiffs “have sued the wrong defendant,” adding that Gohmert’s lawsuit objects to procedures in the law and “not any actions that Vice President Pence has taken,” therefore he should not be the one being sued.
Pence’s brief states, “A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction.”
Kernodle replied that Rep. Gohmert “… alleges at most an institutional injury to the House of Representatives. Under well-settled Supreme Court authority, that is insufficient to support standing.”
“The other Plaintiffs, the slate of Republican Presidential Electors for the State of Arizona (the ‘Nominee-Electors’), allege an injury that is not fairly traceable to the Defendant, the Vice President of the United States, and is unlikely to be redressed by the requested relief,” he added.
Republican Electors in seven battleground states cast Electoral College votes for President Donald Trump on Dec. 14, asking Congress to reject the votes certified in their states for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Gohmert and the other defendants argue that Pence acting as the president of the Senate has “exclusive authority and sole discretion under the 12th Amendment to determine which slates of electors for a state, or neither, may be counted.”
Gohmert says that he and 140 Republican members of the House will formally object to some states’ Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.
Joining them in the U.S. Senate are 12 senators, four of whom are new members. The first to state his objection was Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, on Dec. 30.