GOP Lawmaker Sues to Give Pence ‘Exclusive Authority’ Over Electoral College Votes

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
December 28, 2020 Updated: December 31, 2020

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) filed a lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence to give Pence “exclusive authority” to decide which Electoral College votes should be counted.

According to the lawsuit (pdf), Pence has a role in the upcoming Jan. 6, 2021, joint session of Congress to count all 50 states’ Electoral College votes. Gohmert’s lawsuit was filed against Pence in his capacity as vice president, is asking a federal judge to strike down to declare Section 15 of the 1887 Electoral Count Act unconstitutional.

The GOP lawmaker also asking Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, to determine that Pence is authorized to pick GOP electors who cast votes for Trump during the Joint Session of Congress.

The White House and Pence’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

“Vice-President Pence determines which slate of electors’ votes count, or neither, for that State,” Gohmert’s lawsuit states. “If no candidate has a majority of 270 elector votes, then the House of Representatives (and only the House of Representatives) shall choose the President.”

It adds that the 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution “contains the exclusive dispute resolution mechanisms” over elections.

The court should render a judgment on whether “Vice President Pence, in his capacity as President of Senate and Presiding Officer of the January 6, 2021, Joint Session of Congress under the Twelfth Amendment, is subject solely to the requirements of the Twelfth Amendment and 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,” Gohmert’s lawsuit says.

Gohmert noted that GOP-selected electors in several key states being contested by Trump have cast votes for Trump and Pence. The Republican parties in the states said they did so to preserve lawsuit options for the president. Electors that were certified by the key states’ executive branches cast votes during the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote, giving Biden 306 votes to Trump’s 232 votes.

Meanwhile, Gohmert said in the suit that he’s joining a GOP-led effort to challenge the Electoral College vote-count efforts on Jan. 6. The bid, which is being led by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), has dozens of supporters in the House, Brooks told Fox News on Dec. 28.

Trump has supported the effort led by Brooks and the other Republican lawmakers to challenge the counting. But so far, it’s not clear if any senators have joined, which is needed to carry out the challenge of the electoral votes.

Gohmert filed the suit in the Eastern District of Texas. Tyler Bowyer, Nancy Cottle, Jake Hoffman, Anthony Kern, James R. Lamon, Sam Moorhead, Robert Montgomery, Lorain Pellegrino, Greg Safsten, Kelli Ward, and Michael Ward also joined the lawsuit.

The case is Gohmert v. Pence, and the case number is 6:20-cv-00660.

Correction: This article was updated to more accurately reflect the content of the lawsuit. 

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.