Federal judge dismisses Trump election lawsuit in Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania, saying it contained “strained legal argument without merit.”
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann turned down the request for an injunction, spoiling Trump’s hopes of somehow overturning the results of the presidential contest.
In his 37-page ruling, Brann said the Trump campaign asked him to “disenfranchise almost seven million voters” and said he could not find any case in which a plaintiff “has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election.”
With such a request, the judge said, one might expect compelling legal argument “and factual proof of rampant corruption.” Instead, Brann added, “this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”
“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,” Brann wrote in his opinion.
Trump had argued that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law was violated when Pennsylvania counties took different approaches to notifying voters before the election about technical problems with their submitted mail-in ballots.
The lawsuit claimed that some counties allowed mail-in voters to cure problems with the ballots by casting a provisional ballots, but some counties did not, which violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
But even if that were the basis for seeking some kind of order, Brann said, the remedy sought by the Trump campaign goes too far.
“Rather than requesting that their votes be counted, they seek to discredit scores of other votes, but only for one race,” the judge wrote. “This is simply not how the Constitution works.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, tweeted shortly after Brann’s ruling, saying “Another one bites the dust.”
The Associated Press contributed.