“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up allegations of massive fraud,” Ellis said in a confusing reference to the three Republican-appointed judges. “We are very grateful that we had the opportunity to present evidence and facts to PA State lawmakers.”
However, the brief, unanimous rejection of the case by a group of GOP officers suggests that the case may be coldly received by the Supreme Court, as judges often view dissenting opinions from their ideological colleagues as a reason for interest in the Supreme Court.
Much of the appellate court’s decision read like a reprimand from Giuliani for the Trump campaign’s legal tactics. Bibas repeatedly stressed that, despite their heated public rhetoric, Giuliani and the campaign never claimed election fraud in this suit.
Although Trump and his allies have alleged fraud nationwide, they have provided no evidence of widespread problems. And Bibas noted that the Pennsylvania campaign challenged so few ballots that it would hardly affect President-elect Joe Biden’s 81,000-vote lead in the state, even if the claims were justified.
“Throwing away millions of postal ballot papers would be drastic and unprecedented, would disenfranchise a large part of the electorate and disrupt all voting races,” wrote Bibas, along with two people appointed by George W. Bush, D. Brooks Smith and Michael Chagares. “This means would be disproportionate to the procedural challenges raised.”
The question before the Third Circuit was actually a tight one: Whether the District Court Judge Matthew Brann had made a mistake in denying the Campaign the opportunity to file a third version of their lawsuit. Using similarly pointed language about the lack of evidence, Brann disassembled the Trump campaign allegations and declined their efforts, denying his lawsuit.
The court also denied a campaign restraining order to block Pennsylvania’s certification of Biden’s victory, which Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar did earlier this week. Bibas wrote that many of the campaign’s allegations had already been tried and rejected in a state court. A simple reformulation for a federal court and the classification as “discrimination” is not a model.
“[I]This alchemy cannot convert lead into gold, ”writes Bibas. “The campaign never claims that a ballot was fraudulent or cast by an illegal voter. It is never alleged that a defendant treated the Trump campaign or its votes worse than the Biden campaign or its votes. Calling something discrimination doesn’t make it that way. “
The recent defeat in the Trump campaign’s efforts to undermine the results of the presidential election marks an extraordinary series of legal errors that began after the election.
In the Pennsylvania lawsuit, Trump’s campaign alleged that his observers were wrongly denied access to ballot counting and that Democratic districts allowed voters who made mistakes on their postal ballots to “cure” them while other districts would not allow procedures .
Bibas stressed, however, that the campaign, even in its amended filing, never claimed that the Trump campaign was treated differently from the Biden campaign. No fraud of any kind is claimed either. And it’s all about invalidating ballot papers in democratically dominated counties without a basis.
“[T]Campaign fees are selective. Though the Pennsylvanians poured 2.6 million
Mail-in ballot, the campaign challenges 1.5 million of them, “wrote Bibas. “Votes will be selected that were cast in“ Democratic hard counties ”but not“ Republican hard counties. ”Without compelling evidence of massive fraud, which is not even alleged here, we can hardly offer such unilateral relief. “
There is also no evidence that the vote counting was not conducted properly, he notes.
“The campaign does not cite any authority suggesting that an actor is discriminating by treating people equally while harboring a partisan motif,” he concludes, “and we don’t know of any.”
The Trump campaign let its best legal hopes rest in Pennsylvania a decision of the 3rd circuit from 1994 in a controversial Senate competition that not only established a single seat but also control of the chamber.
The district court Judge found in this case widespread fraud, ordering Republican candidate Bruce Marks to replace Democrat William Stinson, who was the beneficiary of what the court saw as a concerted, blatant effort to get hundreds of fraudulent postal ballots.
Bibas said there was no comparison between the state’s two and a half decades-old legislative race and the presidential contest that was just over.
“These facts were far from these,” wrote the judge. “Here … there is no clear evidence of massive fraud or forgery in postal votes. And the profit margin here is nowhere near as tight: not 461 votes, but approximately 81,000.”
The appeals court declined the Trump campaign’s request for a hearing to set their case. And in one final outrage, the judges called the 21-page verdict “not overriding,” suggesting that the campaign’s claims carried so little weight that the case should not be cited in future cases.