A federal judge on Saturday discarded President Donald Trump's last major legal challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results, clearing the way for the certification of the state’s election results this week.
In the case put forth by 1968 Wharton graduate Trump's campaign, attorneys sought to block the certification of vote tallies that might have included any absentee and mail-in ballots that the campaign claimed did “not comply with [Pennsylvania’s] Election Code.”
The campaign’s legal team also alleged that sanctioned Trump campaign watchers had been prevented from observing the tabulation of mail-in and absentee ballots in some instances. State and county officials have since consistently denied the Trump campaign’s claims of widespread fraud in the presidential election and the campaign has provided little evidence to support its challenges.
In a 37-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann described the Trump campaign’s attempts to potentially invalidate the votes of nearly seven million Pennsylvania voters as “unhinged” — criticizing the merits of the campaign’s legal team’s case.
“This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations … unsupported by the evidence,” Brann wrote in his opinion.
During hearings on the case, Brann appeared perplexed by the campaign’s request to block the certification of election results.
“Can you tell me how this result could possibly be justified?” he asked the campaign’s lawyers.
Trump legal advisors have since attempted to spin the decision into a victory, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, saying they intended to seek an expedited hearing before the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The case’s dismissal leaves only one other lawsuit that Trump’s campaign is still actively pursuing in the state — a fight before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over approximately 8,300 challenged mail ballots from Philadelphia.
Regardless of the outcome, President-elect Joe Biden maintains his winning lead in Pennsylvania, a swing state which propelled him to the presidency. Under a Nov. 23 deadline for counties to certify their final tallies, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the state's Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar appeared ready to move forward with certifying the election results to grant Biden the state's 20 electoral votes, the Inquirer reported.