Several Republicans have sued US Vice President Mike Pence in an improbable bid to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, according to media reports.
The last-ditch legal effort, filed on Sunday, came from Representative Louie Gohmert, an eight-term congressman from Texas, along with 11 Arizona residents who had been nominated by that state’s Republican Party to serve as electors, The Hill reported.
It comes over a week before Pence is scheduled to preside over a joint session of Congress where the Electoral College votes for Biden and President Donald Trump will be tallied.
Electors have already cast their votes two weeks earlier. Biden received 306 electoral votes — 36 more than he needed to win — while Trump received 232.
The lawsuit focuses on Pence’s role in the January 6 meeting of Congress to count states’ electoral votes and finalise Biden’s victory over President Trump.
The lawsuit challenges the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which dictates the vice president’s role in announcing the results as a ceremonial one, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The Republican lawsuit, which was filed against Pence in his official capacity as vice president, asks a federal judge in Texas to strike down the law as unconstitutional.
The Republican plaintiffs go further: They ask the court to grant Pence the authority on January 6 to effectively overturn Trump’s defeat in key battleground states.
Election law experts have dismissed the lawsuit’s prospects for success.
“The idea that the Vice President has sole authority to determine whether or not to count electoral votes submitted by a state, or which of competing submissions to count, is inconsistent with a proper understanding of the Constitution,” said Edward Foley, a law professor at the Ohio State University.
“The suit will go nowhere,” said Joshua Geltzer, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.
Trump has refused to concede to Biden. He has falsely asserted he won the race while publicly pressuring Republican lawmakers to “step up and fight for the Presidency.
The Trump campaign and several of the president’s allies have launched dozens of attempts to challenge the election results in numerous swing states. None of those legal efforts has succeeded in invalidating votes for Biden.
The US Supreme Court earlier in December rejected a bid from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to sue four key swing states over changes they made to voting procedures.