End game? Federal judge in PA aggressively boots Trump lawsuit

The Trump campaign sent Rudy Giuliani into court personally in Pennsylvania to make the case for preventing the Keystone State from certifying their election results and awarding twenty more electoral votes to Joe Biden. Yesterday we found out that it didn’t go very well for Rudy. In fact, it’s hard to describe what happened as anything other than a crushing defeat. The judge in the case was rather brutal in his dismissal of the suit, saying that Trump’s case consisted of “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations unsupported by evidence.” Giuliani tried to paint this in a positive light (as we’ll get to in a moment) but there’s really no way to put this outcome in a good light. (Associated Press)

Pennsylvania officials can certify election results that currently show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes, a federal judge ruled Saturday, dealing President Donald Trump’s campaign another blow in its effort to invalidate the election.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, turned down the request for an injunction by Trump’s campaign. In his ruling, Brann said the Trump campaign presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations … unsupported by evidence.”

“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state,” the opinion said. “Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.”

I’ve seen multiple sources this morning describing Judge Brann as a “lifelong conservative Republican.” The President probably couldn’t have found a more potentially friendly audience for this lawsuit but Brann tossed it out with an opinion that appeared to border on sarcasm at times. And there’s probably a good reason for that.

We’ve been hearing one story after another about massive fraud. When such claims are made, they clearly need to be investigated. But thus far that’s all we’ve seen… claims. If there’s any hard evidence of irregularities on such a massive scale that they would begin invalidating the elections in any of these states, that proof needed to be presented yesterday, if not far sooner. Yes, we’ve discovered and highlight individual instances of people requesting ballots for their dead relatives and ballots winding up in dumpsters here and there. But the accusations being leveled by the Trump campaign would require some sort of massive, systemic fraud. We can’t expect the courts, no matter who is sitting at the bench, to simply toss out an entire election based on witnesses who didn’t like the way something looked in a counting room. If the voting machines were switching votes to Biden, the paper ballots should have revealed that during the hand counts. But the evidence simply hasn’t been presented at this point.

Giuliani is saying that this is actually good news because the dismissal will allow him to take the appeal to the Supreme Court all the faster. But do we honestly believe that this is going to change anything at this point? And would we want it to? Look, I’m no happier about the outcome of this race than the vast majority of Hot Air readers are. But even with a firmly conservative majority on the nation’s highest court, can you honestly say that you want them to start flipping the results of states without some firm proof that the actual results were rigged to such a massive extent?

I have plenty of friends who are still holding out hope and grasping at any straw they can find at conservative news outlets. And if something really dramatic comes to light (well, it would have to be at least three dramatic “somethings” at this point because Trump needs to flip at least three states) then I’ll be pulling for the President’s campaign as well. But from the beginning of this contest, we all knew that it was going to come down to some very close races in a half dozen or so swing states. And when a race is that close, the possibility of coming up short exists. The President delivered some early victories in key states like Florida, but the Democrats turned out a lot of people through mail-in voting.

If the Supreme Court declines to hear the Pennsylvania case it’s highly unlikely that they’ll entertain any others in Georgia, Michigan or Nevada. And if that’s the result then it will be time to admit that President Trump gave it all he had on the campaign trail but came up short in a few too many critical states. At that point, we will need to focus on what’s happening in Georgia and try to keep hold of the Senate majority. If we lose that, 2020 is going to look like a picnic compared to 2021 and 2022.

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