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Lawsuit calls for allowing 5 states' legislatures to certify electors before congressional count

The states named in the suit include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Updated: December 23, 2020 - 8:40am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society has lodged a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that calls for the legislatures in five states to be permitted to certify electors before the congressional count occurs.

Those five states are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a press release from the Amistad Project.

"The lawsuit argues that current federal and local statutes interfere with state legislatures' constitutional right to certify Presidential electors, in a direct violation of separation of powers. It also cites an Amistad Project white paper which illustrates how the Electoral College vote deadline of December 14 is arbitrary and does not apply to the contested states," the press release says. "Currently, state law and the executive branch refusal have prevented state legislatures from meeting as a body to review, investigate and debate the method in which the election was conducted."

The suit seeks to have portions of federal and local law that interfere with state legislatures' right to certify presidential electors deemed unconstitutional.

The lawsuit aims to make certain that the vice president and U.S. Congress do not count the presidential elector votes from the states before a respective state legislature is able to hold a joint session for a vote to certify electors.

"Governors in these contested states have declared themselves to be the law due to COVID and are now actively preventing the state legislatures from exercising their constitutional authority to review the election process," Director of the Amistad Project Phill Kline said in a statement. "Governors do not have a right to certify election results through fiat," he said. "The Constitution gives state legislatures alone the right to certify Presidential electors," Kline noted.