Updated Nov 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge tosses Trump campaign bid to block Pennsylvania vote certification

Election workers count ballots at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Election workers count ballots at the Philadelphia Convention Center Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

A judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit that sought to invalidate millions of votes and block the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state.

Why it matters: The ruling is another blow to President Trump and his campaign as they seek to discredit election tallies in Pennsylvania and other key swing states, citing baseless and unproven claims of widespread voter fraud. Counties in Pennsylvania must certify their election totals and send them to secretary of the commonwealth by Monday.

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, tweeted shortly after the ruling, "another one bites the dust."

Why he's saying: "In other words, Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters. This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated," U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his 37-page opinion.

  • "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, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens. That has not happened," Brann added.
  • "Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence."

The bottom line: "In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more," Brann said.

Of note: Brann dismissed the case with prejudice — meaning the suit can't be brought back to court.

Go deeper: GOP Sen. Pat Toomey: Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Trump's comment.

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