A federal judge rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction by Republican voters seeking to block Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s win, offering a blistering critique of the litigation.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg of the D.C. District Court ruled on Monday that an effort by GOP voters to undo the election certifications in certain battleground states had no merit. The lawsuit targeted Vice President Mike Pence, Congress, the Electoral College itself, and leaders in five states as defendants.
“In addition to being filed on behalf of Plaintiffs without standing and (at least as to the state Defendants) in the wrong court and with no effort to even serve their adversaries, the suit rests on a fundamental and obvious misreading of the Constitution,” Boasberg ruled.
He added: “It would be risible were its target not so grave: the undermining of a democratic election for President of the United States.”
The judge took umbrage with the plaintiffs’ “failure to make any effort to serve or formally notify any Defendant,” even though he notified them to do so, and said that it is “difficult to believe that the suit is meant seriously.”
Boasberg, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, went on to say that he is considering referring the counsel behind the case for disciplinary action. The lawsuit itself was filed by Erick Kaardal, a Minnesota attorney with the conservative Amistad Project.
“Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures,” Boasberg said. “As a result, at the conclusion of this litigation, the Court will determine whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs’ counsel.”
The failed lawsuit is separate from the one filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas and other Republicans from Arizona that sought to overturn Biden’s victory. That litigation was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a Trump appointee, and the decision was upheld by an appeals court.
The Trump campaign and its allies have filed dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits seeking to change the outcome of the Nov. 3 election over claims of election fraud and irregularities. Biden’s share of the Electoral College is 306 to 232 for President Trump. He also bested the president in the popular vote.
Congress meets on Wednesday to count the electoral votes, and some Republicans are planning a long-odds bid at objecting to the Electoral College results.
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