The campaign of outgoing President Donald Trump appealed Sunday a court decision that had dismissed his biggest lawsuit in the key state of Pennsylvania, with the aim of reaching the Supreme Court.
Trump’s team filed an appeal with Pennsylvania’s Third Court of Appeals a day after a federal judge in that state dismissed his lawsuit in a ruling that sharply criticized the president’s claims without evidence of fraud.
Trump had already said, in a tweet posted at the stroke of midnight on Saturday, that his campaign would appeal the decision, and his lawyers hoped that the appeals court would decide the case quickly so that he could get to the Supreme Court “as soon as possible.
That nation’s highest court is composed of a conservative majority of six justices versus only three progressives, but Trump’s campaign will have a hard time convincing those justices that there has been fraud in Pennsylvania, something he has so far failed to produce convincing evidence of.
The lawsuit in question in Pennsylvania seeks to invalidate hundreds of thousands of votes cast by mail, arguing that the ability of voters to correct errors on their ballots in certain counties was detrimental to Trump’s party.
The judge who dismissed the lawsuit Saturday, conservative Matthew Brann, claimed that the Trump campaign had resorted to “faulty and unmeritorious legal arguments and speculative accusations” in its attempt to throw out those votes.
“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the suppression of the right to vote of a single voter, much less all the voters of its sixth most populous state,” Brann wrote.
The decision was a profound setback for the legal strategy of the Trump campaign, which has already lost other cases in Pennsylvania, as well as in Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona in its claim without evidence of voter fraud.
That lawsuit was the last major one active in Pennsylvania, and Brann’s decision meant that Pennsylvania’s counties have a free hand in certifying the election result, for which the deadline is Monday, and thus confirming President-elect Joe Biden as the territory’s winner.
Without Pennsylvania, it is practically impossible for Trump to turn around the election result since Biden’s advantage in the Electoral College is such (306 votes against 232), that the current president would have to demonstrate a major fraud in several states to prevail.
Trump already received two other setbacks this Friday: the first in Georgia, which certified Biden’s victory; and the second in Michigan, where two state legislators whom he invited to the White House said, after the meeting, that they had no information that could change the result of the elections in their state.
Trump’s team only has until Dec. 8 to develop its legal strategy, because on that day all states should have resolved any disputes and the governor of each territory must send the certified results to Congress.