VP Pence Sued: An Explanation

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In a unique situation, Vice President Mike Pence is being sued by Republicans.  While this sounds bad, it was done to try and get President Trump re-elected.  For some Republicans, the election is still not over.

The whole ordeal is a little confusing and there is plenty of legal jargon involved.  The lawsuit, which was filed on Sunday, involves Texas Representative Louie Gohmert.  The core idea of the lawsuit is to give Pence a special authority on January 6.  “They ask the court to grant Pence the authority on Jan. 6 to effectively overturn Trump’s defeat in key battleground states” (Kruzel).  

What those who are suing VP Pence want is for him to count state electors.  The lawsuit is focused on the Electoral Count Act.  “…the Electoral Count Act, the vague statute that has long governed the electoral vote counting process with minimal drama, unconstitutionally binds Pence from exercising total authority to choose which votes to count” (Cheney).  

How would VP Pence be able to change the results of the election?  Basically, Pence would determine which elector votes count and which don’t.  In some places that President Trump lost, Arizona being one of those places, electors still voted for President Trump.  These votes were unofficial, however.  Pence could give these votes authenticity if the lawsuit works out (Cheney).  

Pence won’t be fully able to single handedly flip the election. though.  “While Pence can’t toss out electoral votes on Jan. 6, members of Congress theoretically have this power. If one senator and one representative object to a slate of electors, the Senate and House will vote separately on whether to discard them” (Walsh).

The case will be heard by Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a man that President Trump appointed (Cheney).

President Trump continues to tweet about how the election was corrupt.  His most recent focus has been on the state of Pennsylvania.  

Cheney, Kyle. “Gohmert Suit May Force Pence’s Hand in Effort to Overturn Trump’s Defeat.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 28 Dec. 2020, http://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/28/gohmert-suit-pence-overturn-trumps-defeat-451485.

Kruzel, John. “GOP Lawmaker Sues Pence in Bid to Overturn Biden Win.” TheHill, The Hill, 28 Dec. 2020, thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/531823-gop-lawmakers-sue-pence-in-bid-to-overturn-biden-win.

Walsh, Joe. “Here’s Why Pence Can’t Overthrow Biden’s Win (Despite What Trump May Hope).” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 26 Dec. 2020, http://www.forbes.com/sites/joewalsh/2020/12/24/heres-why-pence-cant-overthrow-bidens-win-despite-what-trump-may-hope/?sh=73ce3bf547d9.

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