The re-election campaign of US President Donald Trump has announced that it would seek an expedited appeal after a federal judge in the state of Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit which sought to block millions of mail-in ballots cast in the November 3 presidential election.
In a joint statement late Saturday, Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani and the campaign's senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis said that they would seek an expedited appeal to the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals, reports said. The latest development will help quicken their effort to push the case to the US Supreme Court.
The lawsuit claimed that some counties in Pennsylvania allowed mail-in voters to fix problems with the ballots by casting provisional ballots, which the campaign said were cast illegally for Democrat Joe Biden.
Saturday's ruling by US District Court Judge Matthew Brann was made on the grounds that the lawsuit provided "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and 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," wrote the judge, who was appointed by former Democratic President Barack Obama.
US media have projected that Biden has won 306 Electoral College votes, surpassing the 270 votes needed to clinch the presidency. The watershed moment came on November 7, when Pennsylvania was called for Biden, who now leads Trump in the state by over 81,000 votes, a margin believed to be insurmountable even if those erroneously cast ballots were excluded.
For the Trump campaign, time is ticking away as Pennsylvania is scheduled to certify its election results on Monday, all but certain to grant its 20 Electoral College votes to Biden. While Biden has claimed victory, Trump launched a slew of litigations challenging the results in states that, in addition to Pennsylvania, also include Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.
Most of those efforts have either been withdrawn by the campaign itself or rejected by the courts, which cited the lack of proof as the reason. On Friday, Georgia certified the results of the election following the full hand recount, making it official that Biden won the state's 16 electoral votes.
The recount of roughly five million votes found that the former Vice President received 12,284 more votes than the President in the traditional Republican stronghold. Most counties saw only minor changes in their tallies, with the recount vote totals differing by single digits.
A federal law sets what is called the "Safe Harbor" deadline, falling on December 8 this year, the day by which states must submit the winner of the presidential election if they are to be insulated from legal disputes. Electoral College representatives will meet six days later, on December 14, to formally select the next US President.