Vice President Mike Pence is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) that would place the onus on Pence to decide which electors would be counted when Congress meets on January 6th to certify the election.
Pence isn’t alone in requesting that a Texas federal judge dismiss the case — Pence also has the House of Representatives on his side.
The Justice Department — acting on behalf of Pence — called the suit a “walking legal contradiction” due to the fact that Gohmert and his Arizona colleagues that joined the lawsuit have named Pence as the sole plaintiff, but he is also “ironically the very person whose power they seek to promote.”
The Justice Department is speaking and acting on Pence’s behalf because he has been sued in his official capacity as Vice President and President of the Senate.
Fox News reported on Gohmert’s case:
Mr. Gohmert’s lawsuit challenges the procedures that will govern Congress’s counting of electoral votes next week, which will cement President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Further, the lawsuit argues that the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which assigns the vice president a ceremonial role in announcing the election results, circumscribes his power under the 12th Amendment.
Gohmert’s legal team argued that Pence has the power to authorize the counting of electoral votes as President of the Senate, writing in the brief:
Under the 12th Amendment, Defendant Pence alone has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to open and permit the counting of the electoral votes for a given state, and where there are competing slates of electors, or where there is objection to any single slate of electors, to determine which electors’ votes, or whether none, shall be counted.
House General Counsel Douglas Letter responded that the power of the Vice President lies exclusively in “opening the certificates,” leaving the duty of the actual “counting of the votes” to others.
The Justice Department suggested that Gohmert should instead sue the House since the 1887 act gives the legislature the powers that Gohmert wants Pence to seize.