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In Harsh Rebuke, Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Election Challenge in Pennsylvania

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“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president,” a judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the 21-page repudiation of Mr. Trump’s legal effort to halt Pennsylvania’s certification process.
In a blistering decision, a Philadelphia appeals court ruled on Friday that the Trump campaign could not stop — or attempt to reverse — the certification of the voting results in Pennsylvania, reprimanding the president’s team by noting that “calling an election unfair does not make it so.” The 21-page ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was a complete repudiation of Mr. Trump’s legal effort to halt Pennsylvania’s certification process and was written by a judge that he himself appointed to the bench. “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote on behalf of the appeals court. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.” Many courts have used scathing language in tossing out a relentless barrage of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and its supporters since Election Day; but even so, the Third Circuit’s ruling was particularly blunt. “Voters, not lawyers, choose the president,” the court declared at one point. “Ballots, not briefs, decide elections.” The court accused the Trump campaign of engaging in “repetitive litigation” and pointed out that the public interest strongly favored “counting every lawful voter’s vote, and not disenfranchising millions of Pennsylvania voters who voted by mail.” Even though Republican plaintiffs have continued filing lawsuits challenging the integrity of the elections and Mr. Trump has not let up on baselessly questioning the election results on Twitter, judges around the country — some of them appointed by Republicans — have held the line, ruling over and over that the legal actions in several swing states lack both merit and sufficient proof. Last week, a federal judge in Atlanta appointed by Mr. Trump denied an emergency request to halt the certification of Georgia’s vote, saying that such a move “would breed confusion and disenfranchisement that I find have no basis in fact and law.

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