In his own scheme to help outgoing President Donald Trump cast doubt on the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) appears to have shot himself in the foot.
Kelly filed a lawsuit alleging election fraud and sought to throw out the entirety of the state’s results. Now, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has tossed his frivolous lawsuit because the allegations have no merit. After all, neither Kelly nor the Trump campaign have provided evidence to back up their claims.
Indeed, it’s yet another legal defeat in a string of embarrassing legal defeats for Trump and his supporters.
But in sucking up to Trump by filing the lawsuit, Kelly called his own political legitimacy into question because he is literally saying that his own election win should not be certified.
Biden campaign attorney Marc Elias took aim at that particular facet on Twitter by suggesting that House Democrats play hardball and begin a serious review of Kelly’s election to Congress and whether or not he should be seated when the new Congress meets in January.
Congressman Mike Kelly has asked a PA judge to block certification of his own election. Even after this lawsuit is dismissed, the US House should refer his credentials to the Admin Committee prior to seating. If he doesn’t think he should be certified, the House should take note.
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 25, 2020
I stand by this.
Even thought the PA Supreme Court dismissed this lawsuit, Congressman Mike Kelly’s effort to block certification of his own election warrants a review by House Admin. If he doesn’t think his election should be certified, the House should not seat him. https://t.co/bZe5XDTifA
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 29, 2020
Obviously, Kelly will likely argue that his own election win is legitimate, but his actions on behalf of Trump say otherwise. Democrats are the majority party in the House of Representatives. Therefore, they can decide if Kelly should be seated. In fact, the Constitution itself makes that clear.
According to Article I Section V:
Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.
And it turns out that the House has refused to seat the apparent winner of a congressional race on several occasions, especially when there are allegations of election fraud or abuse. A review of Kelly’s race could be in store because of his own stupidity. Republicans would cry foul, but the action by the House is not subject to judicial review. The House could even go further by investigating races won by Republicans in districts where voter suppression and racism run rampant and refuse to seat them if they find evidence. After all, if Kelly believes his own election win was the result of foul play, who is to say Republicans who won in the Deep South are legitimate?
The point is that Kelly has put himself and Republicans in quite a pickle by crying election fraud in a scheme to overturn the election for Trump, who would lose even if he were to somehow steal Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. Recounts in Wisconsin and Georgia affirmed President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in both states, with Trump paying millions in the former just to find an extra 132 votes for Biden.
This is why Republicans should drop their ridiculous bid to reverse the election results. They are literally calling their own legitimacy into question and giving House Democrats quite an opening to examine each one of their races to determine if they won fair and square. At the very least, they would be calling Kelly’s bluff.
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