There are a number of qualified candidates for the title of the “stupidest member of Congress,” but the consensus opinion for a number of years now has bestowed this dishonorable title on Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). This assclown never fails to make a complete spectacle of himself.
Case in point: GOP Congressman Sues Mike Pence In Long-Shot Effort To Overturn Biden’s Victory. Don’t worry. You just know that there is a stupid Arizona Republican connection to this story:
A Republican congressman from Texas has teamed up with Arizona’s would-be GOP electors to sue Vice President Mike Pence in a long-shot effort to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) filed the lawsuit on Sunday with 11 Arizona residents whom the state’s Republican Party had nominated to serve as electors if Trump had won there. The lawsuit filed in Texas federal court asks a Trump-appointed judge to throw out the rules that govern how Congress will count the electoral votes next week.
Pence is responsible for presiding over the Jan. 6 joint session, where the Electoral College votes for Biden and Trump will be tallied. Electors already cast their votes two weeks ago, giving 306 votes to Biden and 232 to Trump. A candidate needs 270 votes to win the election.
The lawsuit argues that the Electoral Count Act of 1887 is unconstitutional because it clashes with the 12th Amendment, which details the process for electing the president and vice president. Gohmert alleges that the Electoral Count Act prevents Pence from exercising total authority to choose which electoral votes count.
The law has long governed the process of counting electoral votes with little resistance, but Gohmert and his fellow Republicans in the suit hope that the legal effort will allow the vice president to ignore Biden’s electors and instead count Trump’s losing ones.
I typically ignore Gohmert, but I sense some are nervous. Don't be. This lawsuit is nonsense.
I wish I could say its the dumbest thing Gohmert has ever done, but it's not. The real scandal is that he is still a member of Congress.https://t.co/tGfvn9mrli
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 28, 2020
The lawsuit asks the court to find that Pence “in his capacity as President of Senate and Presiding Officer of the January 6, 2021 Joint Session of Congress under the Twelfth Amendment … may exercise the exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given State, and must ignore and may not rely on any provisions of the Electoral Count Act that would limit his exclusive authority and his sole discretion to determine the count, which could include votes from the slates of Republican electors from the Contested States.”
Even though Biden was the certified winner in battleground states like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Republicans who would have been Trump’s electors met anyway [without any legal sanction or certification] and tried to cast their votes to reelect the current president. The group of such electors from Arizona are hoping Pence and GOP lawmakers will treat those unofficial [and uncertified] votes as equal to the slates that were certified in states Trump lost.
While the lawsuit likely won’t gain momentum in court, the effort forces Pence to make a decision: either contest the lawsuit and face the wrath of Trump and his GOP allies, or support it and make obvious his intention to overturn results of an election that showed no evidence of being rigged or fraudulent.
The vice president has engaged with GOP lawmakers who are trying to reverse Biden’s win, but he has not publicly voiced his opinion on the issue. He also has not hinted at how he plans to handle presiding over the Jan. 6 session meant to certify Biden’s victory.
What does “Mother” (his wife) tell Pence to do: be a patriot and follow the Constitution, or be a part of this cabal to overturn American democracy and install Donald Trump and himself as the first autocratic leaders of a GOP authoritarian banana republic?
In the lawsuit, Gohmert said he will be one of the House Republicans in the joint session who plan to challenge Biden’s electors from battleground states. Dozens of other GOP congressmen plan to follow Gohmert, and at least one Republican senator-elect ― Alabama’s Tommy Tuberville ― has indicated he could join them.
As I have said before, Congress needs to invoke the 14th Amendment, Section 3 to prevent these seditious Republicans encouraging insurrection from being seated in the new Congress:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has tried to discourage his caucus from participating in the challenges, and second-ranking Republican leader Sen. John Thune (S.D.) faced backlash from Trump after telling reporters that any challenges to the election results would fail.
Under the Electoral Count Act, which Gohmert is challenging, a congressional chamber would have to come to a vote if even a single member of each branch challenges electors from multiple states. But such a challenge would likely fail under the current rules because the Democratic-led House would vote to uphold Biden’s victory, and several GOP senators have indicated that they don’t plan to support Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
So who are the members of the Arizona
Republican Stupid Party conspiring with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) in this fivolous lawsuit? Arizona Republicans join Texas lawsuit against VP Mike Pence to upend electoral college:
State GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward [and her husband] and other Arizona Republicans have joined a Texas congressman in suing the vice president of the U.S. to upend the process for counting electoral college votes in an effort to overturn the results of the presidential election.
* * *
Joining Ward and the Texas congressman as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are, among others, state Representative-elect Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek [invoke the 14th Amendment against him as well]; ousted state Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale; Tyler Bowyer, a Republican National Committeeman; Arizona Republican Party Executive Director Greg Safsten; and Nancy Cottle, second vice-chair of the Maricopa County Republican Party, [and Cochise County Republican Chair Robert Montgomery].
It is unclear when they might get a hearing in the case. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Tyler, Texas, which is part of Gohmert’s district.
The lawsuit comes after several Republican state legislators signed a letter to Congress urging it count Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes for President Donald Trump, or at least set aside the state’s votes. Democrat Joe Biden won the state by 10,457 votes, but the state Republican Party and Trump’s campaign have undertaken a series of unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the outcome.
Perhaps most recently, a superior court judge described one of the party’s lawsuits challenging the state’s process for auditing election results as “meritless” and several lawyers have filed complaints with the state bar against attorneys handling some of the cases, accusing them of violating rules of professional conduct by filing frivolous lawsuits.
📣First steps to protect democracy:
✅Election lawsuits should have to state whether they claim fraud.
✅State bars should promulgate rules aimed at anti-democratic efforts.
✅Congress must strengthen rules to prevent Members from undermining democracy.https://t.co/x3A9HWxPBE
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 28, 2020
And there needs to be a means to send Kelli Ward an her ilk into exile for undermining our democracy. We can dream, cant we?
The Arizona Mirror adds:
Ward and her husband both signed onto the lawsuit which argues that the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States allows the vice president to select “competing electors.” However, there are no competing electors and the votes in Arizona have been certified with all certified electors casting their votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
* * *
The suit cites a website called “bannonswarroom.com,” which appears to be loosely affiliated with former White House adviser Steve Bannon [recently indicted for fraud], as well as an article by the fiercely pro-Donald Trump Epoch Times for its claims of election irregularities.
As I explained earlier this year, the Epoch Times is run by a Chinese religious cult. First the Russian troll farm, now a Chinese religious cult propaganda farm for Trump.
Derek T. Muller, Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law. breaks down the flaws in this frivolous lawsuit at Excess of Democracy blog, New lawsuit perpetuates falsehood that Arizona legislature “endorsed” rival slate of electors:
Earlier, I highlighted the erroneous assertion in some legal briefs that a state legislature has “endorsed” some rival slate of presidential electors. A new lawsuit from Arizona filed in Texas does the same, and more.
Here are some allegations from the complaint:
The Arizona Electors have cast Arizona’s electoral votes for President Donald J. Trump on December 14, 2020, at the Arizona State Capitol with the permission and endorsement of the Arizona Legislature, i.e., at the time, place, and manner required under Arizona state law and the Electoral Count Act.
As I explained earlier, “‘Permission’ to appear in the state capitol is no more an endorsement than allowing any group of tourists to step foot in the capitol and engage in some kind of activity.” It also is not clear that the legislature, as a legislature, endorsed such an activity.
The more deceptive claim is here:
On December 14, 2020, members of the Arizona Legislature passed a Joint Resolution in which they: (1) found that the 2020 General Election “was marred by irregularities so significant as to render it highly doubtful whether the certified result accurately represents the will of the voters;” (2) invoked the Arizona Legislature’s authority under the Electors Clause and 5 U.S.C. § 2 to declare the 2020 General Election a failed election and to directly appoint Arizona’s electors; (3) resolved that the Plaintiff Arizona Electors’ “11 electoral votes be accepted for … Donald J. Trump or to have all electoral votes nullified completely until a full forensic audit can be conducted;” and (4) further resolved “that the United States Congress is not to consider a slate of electors from the State of Arizona until the Legislature deems the election to be final and all irregularities resolved.[n. 11]
n.11: See Ex. A, “A Joint Resolution of the 54th Legislature, State of Arizona, To The 116th Congress, Office of the President of the Senate Presiding,” December 14, 2020 (“December 14, 2020 Joint Resolution”).
(Note that Exhibit A includes only 4 pages, not 5, which is the total number of original signatories. You can see that Twitter thread here. It appears the plaintiffs may have accidentally included only the 4 images in the first Twitter post without scrolling down to the second post.)
“Members” of the legislature are distinct from the legislature. They cannot “pass” a “Joint Resolution” under state law unless they go through the lawmaking process. It is not a “Joint Resolution” under any recognized authority of the state legislature, except that these lawmakers want it to be so.
A review of the signatories shows 17 members of the 60-member house, and 5 members of the 30-member senate, which means that it fails majority requirements in both chambers (of course, the presence of a quorum may mean fewer than all members present).
It’s also signed by 8 members-elect, who, of course, are not a part of the legislature right now and cannot engage in the lawmaking function.
And the “joint resolution” has no bill number and is not enrolled in any journal. No roll call was taken. No legislative session was established by any entity.
These members of the legislature are so strongly advancing the independent state legislature doctrine while simultaneously undermining legislative claims by asserting legislative power in contexts where the legislature is not acting.
UPDATE: Some good points from Law&Crime:
The election results in every U.S. state have already been certified and the Electoral College votes for Biden have already been cast. There is absolutely no constitutional provision allowing for states to have “competing” or “alternate” slates of electors. The “votes” those groups sent to Congress do not have any legal authority.
As Law&Crime explained in a previous post, the Twelfth Amendment only dictates that the VP, as president of the Senate, “open all the certificates” and nothing more.
“With the opening of the votes, the Senate President has reached the end of his constitutional role in the presidential election process[.]”
Republican Stupid Party is making itself a national laughing stock. It should be subjected to the harshest ridicule. That’s what you deserve for teaming up with the “stupidest member of Congress,” frivolousRep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).