In harsh rebuke, appeals court rejects Trump’s election challenge in Pennsylvania

New York: In a blistering decision, a Philadelphia appeals court ruled Friday that the Trump campaign could not stop – or attempt to reverse – the certification of the voting results in Pennsylvania, reprimanding the president’s team by noting that “calling an election unfair does not make it so.”

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The 21-page ruling by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals was a complete repudiation of Trump’s legal effort to halt Pennsylvania’s certification process and was written by a judge that he himself appointed to the bench. “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote on behalf of the appeals court in a unanimous decision. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

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Many courts have used scathing language in tossing out a relentless barrage of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and its supporters since Election Day; but even so, the 3rd Circuit’s ruling was particularly blunt.

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“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president,” the court declared at one point. “Ballots, not briefs, decide elections.”

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The court accused the Trump campaign of engaging in “repetitive litigation” and pointed out that the public interest strongly favoured “counting every lawful voter’s vote, and not disenfranchising millions of Pennsylvania voters who voted by mail.”

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Even though Republican plaintiffs have continued filing lawsuits challenging the integrity of the elections and Trump has not let up on baselessly questioning the election results on Twitter, judges around the country have held the line, ruling over and over that the legal actions in several swing states lack both merit and sufficient proof.

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Last week, a federal judge in Atlanta appointed by Trump denied an emergency request to halt the certification of Georgia’s vote, saying that such a move “would breed confusion and disenfranchisement that I find have no basis in fact and law.”

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Then there was the judge whose ruling was upheld by the 3rd Circuit, Matthew W. Brann of US District Court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. When Brann, a former Republican official and member of the conservative Federalist Society appointed by former President Barack Obama, dealt Trump’s team an initial legal defeat last Saturday, he likened the suit to “Frankenstein’s monster,” saying it had been “haphazardly stitched together.”

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He also noted that the suit was filled with “strained legal arguments” and “speculative accusations” that were “unsupported by evidence.”

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