© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, in Kinston, North Carolina
(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Saturday rejected a proposal by a Republican congressman to allow Vice President Mike Pence to overturn President-elect Joe Biden‘s November 3 election victory in favor of President Donald Trump. In a brief order, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Friday confirmed a federal judge’s decision to dismiss U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert’s lawsuit, which had argued that Pence had the power to invalidate Biden’s victory when Congress meets to certify Wednesday’s results. Trump, a Republican, has refused to bow to Biden, claiming without evidence that his victory was due to widespread fraud. Dozens of election officials and judges across the country have dismissed Trump’s allegations. In the US system, the presidency is determined by the Electoral College, which allocates electoral votes to the states and the District of Columbia based on representation in Congress. Biden, who won the national popular vote by more than 7 million votes, prevailed in Electoral College 306-232. US law requires Congress to formally count the electoral vote on January 6. Gohmert, a Republican from Texas and a staunch ally of Trump, filed the lawsuit alongside Republican voters in Arizona, claiming that Pence could discard electoral votes in his role as president. of the Senate. But Trump-appointed US District Judge Jeremy Kernodle ruled Friday that the plaintiffs were not entitled to sue because they had suffered no personal injury. The Fifth Circuit justices, all appointed by Republican presidents, including one Trump appointee, agreed. The Justice Department, on behalf of Pence, had opposed the lawsuit. Some Republicans in Congress have said they will oppose the count, although their effort appears to have no chance of altering the outcome. On Saturday, Senator Ted Cruz announced that a group of 11 senators would challenge Biden’s bill.