But Pence said on a 14-page file filed by Justice Department attorneys that the lawsuit should not be directed against him as he is the one Gohmert is trying to bolster.
“A lawsuit that determines the Vice President has discretion over the census filed against the Vice President is a walking legal contradiction,” Pence said.
U.S. District Court judge Jeremy Kernolde, a Trump agent based in Tyler, Texas, has not scheduled a hearing on the case. Gohmert will reply to Pence’s letter on Friday morning.
Gohmert’s lawsuit, filed on Sunday, alleges that the Electoral Count Act of 1887 – a law sparked by the controversial presidential election of 1876 – is unconstitutional because of the structure it imposes on the process of getting votes from each state is.
Following the procedure of the Electoral Count Act, the Vice President who presides over the Chamber alphabetically opens the constituency of each state. The law also provides a process by which lawmakers can challenge a number of voters, sparking debates and votes by the House and Senate.
In the 2020 elections, Gohmert is one of the dozen of GOP lawmakers in the house who want to object to Biden’s victory because they allege unfounded fraud. But those challenges seem doomed in a Democratic-split Senate-controlled house where a number of Republicans say there is no evidence that could undo Biden’s victory.
Gohmert is calling on the courts to delete the rules altogether, which would leave the vague language of the Twelfth Amendment as the only guide to the process. In this language, Pence would be the final decision maker as to which votes to present to Congress.
In a 26-page brief appeal to the court to dismiss Gohmert’s lawsuit, General Counsel of the House of Representatives Doug Letter described the efforts as unfounded, arguing that both Gohmert and Arizona voters were unable to bring them down .
“Basically, this litigation seeks to embroil the federal courts in a belated and unfounded assault on longstanding constitutional processes to uphold the results of a national presidential election,” Letter said.
One letter also states that Gohmert’s argument has no substantive logic: It would not make sense for the authors to authorize the sitting Vice President to unilaterally control who will be the next President, especially if that sitting Vice President is a candidate on the card . He also notes that this would turn the method of counting votes, which has been accepted in practice for more than 130 years, on its head.
“If the plaintiffs were granted this extraordinary relief just a few days before the Joint Meeting, it would not only reward their inexcusably late filing,” says the public’s trust in the constitutionally prescribed procedures to confirm – not to overturn – the Election results. “
Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Thursday describing Gohmert’s lawsuit as an attempt to “unconstitutionally” empower Pence to override the will of American voters – an effort she said will be launched next week would fail.
“There is no doubt,” she said, “that despite this desperate unpatriotic charade, Joe Biden will be sustained as the 46th President of the United States by the acceptance of the Electoral College vote on January 6th.”
In his letter, Pence cites the House’s objections to Gohmert’s lawsuit as grounds for the court to reject it.
“It would be the Senate and the House of Representatives that are best placed to defend the law. In fact, it is logically those bodies against which the alleviation requested by the plaintiffs must proceed, ”says the Pence file.
The Justice Department’s statement also argues that the lawsuit against Pence is inappropriate for another reason: the Constitution grants broad legal immunity to lawmakers. DOJ lawyers say the full protection extends to Pence’s actions officially as President of the Senate.