VP Pence had until 5 PM Eastern time to respond to the lawsuit Loony Gohmert filed in a Texas district court. He (or rather, the DOJ) has responded: throw the lawsuit out. Some snippets:

The Vice President is not the proper defendant to this lawsuit.

Plaintiffs’ suit seeks to empower the Vice President to unilaterally and unreviewably [sic] decide objections to the validity of electoral votes, notwithstanding the Electoral Count Act.

Indeed, if plaintiffs’ suit were to succeed, the result would be to remove any constraint the Electoral Count Act places on the Vice President.

[A] suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction.

This was clearly written by DOJ career lawyers who had immediately spotted the problem in giving the vice president the power to decide if he had just been reelected.

And then there’s this bit:

To the extent any of these particular plaintiffs have a judicially cognizable claim, it would be against the Senate and the House of Representatives. After all, it is the role prescribed for the Senate and the House of Representatives in the Electoral Count Act to which plaintiffs object, not any actions that Vice President Pence has taken.

On top of which, Gohmert and the Arizona “electors” failed to demonstrate that they have been injured by Pence’s resistance to going against the Constitution.

The response was signed by Jeffrey Clark, the acting assistant attorney general, Jennifer Dickey, the principal deputy AG, and John Coghlan, the deputy assistant AG. In other words, it was approved by the top echelon of the Department of Justice.

Gohmert has until 9 AM tomorrow EST to respond. If he can. Trump has not yet exploded on twitter as far as I know.

  • January 1, 2021
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