ELECTION 2020

Appeals Court Rejects Trump Challenge Of Pennsylvania Race

Nov 27, 2020, 2:32 PM
STERLING, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 27: US President Donald Trump golfs at Trump National Golf Club on No...
STERLING, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 27: US President Donald Trump golfs at Trump National Golf Club on November 27, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia. President Trump heads to Camp David for the weekend after playing golf. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign’s latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.

Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges’ assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”

“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,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.

The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann had said the campaign’s error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.

“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign’s request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”

In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.

Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”

Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.

“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday’s ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”

In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.

“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 in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”

A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he offered the clearest signal to date that he would leave the White House peaceably on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.

“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.

On Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.

All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Election 2020

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey speaks during a press conferenc...
STEVE LeBLANC Associated Press

Massachusetts’ Healey is 1st lesbian elected governor in US

Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey has been elected governor of Massachusetts, making history as the nation's first openly lesbian governor.
3 months ago
FILE - From left, Rachel Hamm, former California Secretary of State candidate, Audrey Trujillo, can...
NICHOLAS RICCARDI Associated Press

Election conspiracies frame contests for secretary of state

Among the myriad offices gaining attention on the ballot Tuesday, the normally obscure post of secretary of state stands out.
3 months ago
FILE - Members of the Oath Keepers on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washin...
MICHAEL KUNZELMAN and ALANNA DURKIN RICHER Associated Press

On stand in 1/6 trial, Oath Keepers boss says he’s a patriot

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes took the witness stand Friday in his seditious conspiracy trial, telling jurors he is a patriotic American as he tries to counter allegations that his far-right extremist group planned an armed rebellion to stop the transfer of presidential power.
3 months ago
FILE: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on th...
Associated Press

Supreme Court clears way for Graham testimony in Georgia

The Supreme Court has lifted a temporary hold on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s testimony in a Georgia investigation of possible illegal interference in the 2020 election by then-President Donald Trump and his allies in the state.
3 months ago
An upcoming ballot initiative will have Utah voters decide if the State government should have more...
Shelby Lofton

What Utah voters should know about Constitutional Amendment A

An upcoming ballot initiative will have Utah voters decide if the State government should have more money during emergency situations.
3 months ago
Salt Lake police arrested a man they say randomly attacked another man eating at a fast food restau...
MARK GILLISPIE, Associated Press

Two conservatives accused in 2020 general election hoax robocall scheme plead guilty

Two right-wing operatives have pleaded guilty in Cleveland to single felony counts of telecommunications fraud for placing thousands of hoax robocalls in Ohio during the 2020 general election.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Appeals Court Rejects Trump Challenge Of Pennsylvania Race