Gohmert, Dallas lawyer who sued to change election results violated ethics rules for lawyers, group says
AUSTIN – A national advocacy group on Monday called on professional licensing agencies to investigate East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert and his attorneys for a so-called “self-evident violation” of attorney ethics when they sued unsuccessfully last week to coerce Vice President Mike Pence will turn the November 3rd presidential election results on its head.
Lawyers defending American democracy, a non-partisan group that claims to have the support of 5,000 lawyers across the country, said in a statement that Gohmert, the Dallas attorney, did not name William L. “Lewis” sessions and by name other lawyers should be sanctioned for outrageous behavior.
They brought a “bogus lawsuit” “based on an absurd reading of the 12th Amendment,” instructing the vice president as chairman of the US Senate to open voting certificates from various states, the group said.
Gohmert’s spokespersons did not respond to an email asking for a comment.
Sessions, a brother of Waco GOP Congressman Pete Sessions, dismissed claims by lawyers defending American democracy as a “political effort to retaliate” opposed by those charged with disciplining lawyers.
“Prosecutors are very careful with their disciplinary proceedings,” Lew Sessions said in an interview. “They want to take merit that is not based on resentment, hostility or political differences. I am very confident that if the prosecution receives a complaint, it will deal with it appropriately. I won’t lose any sleep over it at all. “
In the Gohmert lawsuit, lawyers, Sessions and other plaintiffs invoked the 12th amendment: “The President of the Senate opens all certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the votes are then counted.”
She and other plaintiffs and attorneys involved in the lawsuit relied on the 12th Amendment: “The President of the Senate, in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives, opens all certificates and the votes are then counted.”
Lawyers defending American democracy said the change does not allow a vice president to choose which votes should apply to a particular state.
“Not a single word in this or any other amendment gives the Vice-President any role in choosing the votes to be counted, let alone the extraordinary, unilateral power to decide who should be the next President, regardless of the outcome of the votes in the various states” said the group.
Also, Gohmert, Sessions, and others who brought the lawsuit did not offer “any reference to case law or any other authority for this outrageous and unjustifiable argument,” the group said.
Late Friday, US District Judge Jeremy Kernodle, a representative of President Donald Trump from Gohmert’s hometown of Tyler, dismissed the lawsuit.
Kernodle ruled that Gohmert and other plaintiffs – including the GOP chairmen in Arizona and the defeated list of Republican voters in that state – had no stand. A federal appeals court upheld the verdict late Saturday.
Pence had argued that the lawsuit in a 14-page file by the Justice Department attorneys should not be directed against him.
“A lawsuit that establishes that the Vice President has the census filed against the Vice President at his own discretion is a walking legal contradiction,” the letter said.
The lawsuit challenges the Election Census Act of 1887, which mandated the vice president’s role in announcing results to be ceremonial.
American democracy lawyers have been formed over the past two years to challenge what President Trump sees as an “assault on the rule of law,” according to his website.
Last month she asked the Texas Attorney General to investigate Attorney General Ken Paxton and disciplinary agencies in other states to consider sanctions against 17 of Paxton’s red-state counterparts who sued the Supreme Court to overthrow the president. Pick Joe Biden’s win in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The group said discipline should also be considered against attorneys among the 126 GOP members of the U.S. House who supported the Paxton-led lawsuit.