Pence asks judge to end GOP suit to expand his powers over Congress' approving election results

Pence argues he's not the correct defendant in the case.

Updated: December 31, 2020 - 7:59pm

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Vice President Mike Pence asked a federal judge Thursday to reject an attempt by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert and other congressional Republicans to expand Pence’s official powers to allow him to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this week and attempts to expand Pence’s role in Congress’ meeting Wednesday to count states’ electoral votes and certify Biden’s victory over Trump, according to The Hill newspaper. 

Pence argued in a filing Thursday to U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle that he was not the correct defendant to the suit.

“A suit to establish that the Vice President has discretion over the count, filed against the Vice President, is a walking legal contradiction,” a Justice Department attorney wrote in the filing, The Hill also reported. 

An 1887 federal law known as the Electoral Count Act has the vice president presiding over the congressional meeting. 

However the suit led by Gohmert tries to invalidate the law as an unconstitutional constraint on the vice president's authority to choose among competing claims of victory when state-level election results are disputed.

Republicans in several key battleground states have disputed Biden's win and offered alternate "slates" of pro-Trump electors to be counted, also according to The Hill.  

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