The Pennsylvania Senator offered an appropriate response to the Trump campaign’s failed election litigation

Jonathan H. Adler | 11.23.2020 10:34 AM

Over the weekend, a federal district court judge through (sic) out the Trump campaign’s effort to challenge the Pennsylvania election results in Donald J. Trump for President v. Boockvar. The strongly worded opinion by Judge Matthew Brann excoriates the Trump campaign’s legal team, their arguments, and their tactics.

In response to the ruling, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) issued a statement that is worth quoting in full, as it provides a model for how other elected Republicans should be handling the Trump campaign’s legal maneuvers.

With today’s decision by Judge Matthew Brann, a longtime conservative Republican whom I know to be a fair and unbiased jurist, to dismiss the Trump campaign’s lawsuit, President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania.

This ruling follows a series of procedural losses for President Trump’s campaign. On Friday, the state of Georgia certified the victory of Joe Biden after a hand recount of paper ballots confirmed the conclusion of the initial electronic count. Michigan lawmakers rejected the apparent attempt by President Trump to thwart the will of Michigan voters and select an illegitimate slate of electoral college electors. These developments, together with the outcomes in the rest of the nation, confirm that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and will become the 46th President of the United States.

I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. They are both dedicated public servants and I will be praying for them and for our country. Unsurprisingly, I have significant policy disagreements with the President-elect. However, as I have done throughout my career, I will seek to work across the aisle with him and his administration, especially on those areas where we may agree, such as continuing our efforts to combat COVID-19, breaking down barriers to expanding trade, supporting the men and women of our armed forces, and keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.

Make no mistake about it, I am deeply disappointed that President Trump and Vice President Pence were not re-elected. I endorsed the president and voted for him. During his four years in office, his administration achieved much for the American people. The tax relief and regulatory overhauls that President Trump enacted with Republicans in Congress produced the strongest economy of my adult life. He also should be applauded for forging historic peace agreements in the Middle East, facilitating the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, appointing three outstanding Supreme Court justices, and keeping America safe by neutralizing ISIS and killing terrorists like Qasem Soleimani and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

To ensure that he is remembered for these outstanding accomplishments, and to help unify our country, President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process.

Indulging the President’s continued efforts to delegitimize the election through frivolous litigation and conspiracy mongering is not patriotic. It is quite the opposite. Elections have consequences, and in this election the Republican presidential candidate lost. Republicans and others who supported Trump need to acknowledge this fact and move on, as Senator Toomey has.

Alas, there is reason to believe the shenanigans will continue. The Trump campaign filed a notice of appeal in the Pennsylvania litigation with the U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday, but did not ask the court to delay certification of the Pennsylvania results. Other suits remain pending in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and some Republican office holders are still seeking to prevent the certification of results in other states. None of this will overturn President-elect Biden’s victory. It will, however, continue to exacerbate tribal partisan divisions and undermine confidence in our institutions.

It is long past time for more Republicans to put country over party Trump.


Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) is the Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

34 Responses

  1. Open thread added for convenience.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While I like the idea of holding a spotlight on the potential voting issues (everywhere, in fact, not just states Trump lost) Trump seems with this, as with so many things, not the best spokesperson or public representative for that project.

    It’s about time from Trump to concede but he’ll probably stretch things out as long as possible. Still, I’m hoping just the amount of attention this stuff is getting helps motivate some of these legislatures to get their local election houses in order.


    • It’s about time from Trump to concede but he’ll probably stretch things out as long as possible. Still, I’m hoping just the amount of attention this stuff is getting helps motivate some of these legislatures to get their local election houses in order.

      It’s going to be fascinating watching Republican led state legislatures as Trump spends the next four years talking about voter fraud issues.


  3. Yellen to Treasury


    • what do you think?


      • elizabeth warren is curled up with a pint of Haagen-Dasz and a bottle of wine

        Though i do wonder what Yellen’s thoughts on MMT are these days.


        • I am but a layperson, looking at these things at a great distance, but my distant view feels like the goal here is to recreate the Obama administration. A little chair shuffling and such but I think the goal is to basically making it Obama: the sequel. But like the sequel where the main star of the first one only makes a cameo. So they try to put the burden of moving the plot forward on some new actor, but the cast and plot points are basically the same.


        • Yellen used to be a firm opponent of MMT – didn’t she call it a fringe theory? It wasn’t that long ago, either.

          I am guessing her views have not changed, Brent.


  4. Thanks for the great post Mark and it looks like the Biden Administration is now getting the funds they need to progress toward a transition. It’s time, and whatever misgivings some Americans have regarding the integrity of the vote, I think the margins were just too large to gain any traction to overturn it.

    I know I keep saying I’m leaving but now and then I see something that just sort of calls to me and I thought this was interesting regarding the COVID restrictions from NYTimes this afternoon.

    Scapegoating social gatherings

    With Thanksgiving on the horizon, politicians and public health officials have warned against gatherings among family and friends, calling them a major driver of new coronavirus infections. And they are right that you should minimize your risk this week.

    Data on infections, however, suggests that the biggest drivers of infections are not small gatherings, but rather the usual culprits: long-term care facilities, food processing plants, prisons, restaurants and bars.

    So why have social gatherings become such a popular target for politicians? In part because they are the path of least resistance.

    For some politicians, it’s easier to point to the individual actions of private citizens rather than enact the politically fraught public health rules that may actually make a difference, like closing businesses and mandating mask-wearing.

    In some states, this disconnect is leading to draconian policies that aren’t backed by science. Vermont, for example, has prohibited neighbors from meeting for a socially distanced and masked walk, but is permitting them to dine indoors at restaurants before 10 p.m. Minnesota has barred people from different households from meeting indoors and outdoors, even though evidence has consistently shown outdoor events to be relatively safe.

    My colleague Apoorva Mandavilli, who reported this story for The Times, said the takeaway should not be that celebrating Thanksgiving is safe this year.

    “What the story is saying is that social gatherings are not the primary source of the spread,” Apoorva said. “But we can also do our part, and especially now that we’re in the situation where the virus is everywhere, really, staying home is the safest thing to do.”

    I also think that what NYC is doing by closing the schools is not in the best interest of anyone! I think schools are probably the safest place for kids and maybe teachers too because they are generally adhering to the CDC recommendations.

    I’m looking forward to the absence of Trump’s craziness and a vaccine so I can get to CO again to see my kids and grandkids…………that’s really all I care about at this point………LOL


    • Thank God Biden invented a vaccine eh?


      • That’s ridiculous McWing…….I totally credit Trump with the rush for a vaccine and I’m so happy the efficacy looks good. Trump could have rested on a few laurels but blew the rest.

        Liberals aren’t the idiots you think we are…………….

        Liked by 1 person

        • People aren’t two dimensional and reach conclusions in good faith? News to me.


        • I give more credit to the pharma companies than Trump or Biden.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Everything I’m happy with Trump about should be credited to the administration—ultimately he was an important part of it, but flexibility in the FDA and elsewhere makes a big difference, too. As the bureaucracy proved in matters such as keeping troops in Syria, they were capable of obstructing and delaying administration goals if they wanted.

          It’s on ongoing tapestry. It may not have been Obama’s intent, but it’s unlikely Trump’s admin could have gotten the Middle East peace deals without Obama’s Iran deal. Good things and bad things in Biden’s presidency will likely find their roots in Trump’s presidency.

          Or so I think.


        • Kev, I agree with you that it is past time for the Baker-Carter reforms [which include solid voter ID] and for securing the vote from electronic hacking. I am willing to accept the the clean verdicts on this election with the caveat that all close elections in my lifetime including this one have raised suspicions, sometimes with actual evidence, but usually just backed by rumor. Some states, especially big empty western ones, have strong mail in voting, but all states have had some sort of mail in voting since the Civil War. I suspect it will become an ever more popular form in states besides Utah and the Utah model should be examined.

          I also agree that one of the deep holes has been Afghanistan, and it should be recalled that it was an obsession of BHO’s from the time of his campaign – he thought it was the right war against AQ and Iraq was the wrong one, and I agreed with him at the time. I still agree in theory. But he escalated our troop presence in AFG immensely and when it became clear that nothing we did was going to stand up AFG as an ally in the fight against AQ he sort of left DJT stuck with a military that always wanted one more shot [also understandable]. Meanwhile we somehow got down to negotiating with the Taliban assholes without even the presence of the AFG government. Maybe DJT has unstuck that for JB. Gotta hope.

          No more tweets!


        • Why do the tweets bother y’all?


        • George, think lasers — cats.

          Liked by 1 person

        • What do these people know that they’re not saying?

          I’m including Cuomo and Newsome as well.

          Liked by 1 person

        • This is awesome!


        • Lol!

          2016: Fun fact!
          2020: Coup!!!


        • Apportionment rule must be made before an election, not after, IIRC.


        • I’m sure that would be the case. It should be. You can’t just decide to do it different this time based on who you wanted to win.


        • He was talking out of his ass, then as now. Also in what state that Trump won did HRC take more of the counties? Did that actually happen?


      • Not what she’s saying I’m pretty sure.

        Presidents don’t invent vaccines or lower ocean levels, either.


    • While I will miss a lot about the Trump administration, it will at least be refreshing that Biden won’t be Tweeting all the time. So: silver linings.


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