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Rep. Scott Perry backed failed lawsuit seeking to overturn Trump's Pa. loss

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Incumbent congressman Scott Perry talks to the media while before voting at the polls at Monaghan Presbyterian Church in Dillsburg Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Perry is defending his seat against Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. Bill Kalina photo

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry was one of 126 House Republicans to sign onto an amicus brief supporting a petition that would have disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters in his own district.

The brief signed by more than half of House Republicans was in support of a petition filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Friday evening due to a lack of standing, The Associated Press reported.

"Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections," the Supreme Court wrote.

The petition aimed to block electors in four swing states from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory, citing unsupported claims about mail-in ballot fraud.

The effort, which was based on no solid evidence, would have nullified election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

"Given the failure of Pennsylvania to address these inconsistencies and irregularities, and the violation of constitutional rights, action at the federal level must be considered," Perry, R-Carroll Township, said in a statement.

Multiple vote recanvasses and lawsuits have shown no consequential irregularities during the Nov. 3 election in Pennsylvania. 

More:Perry wins fifth term, fends off DePasquale

More:Pa. Senate leader: Home would be 'bombed' if she rebuffed Trump

The petition to the Supreme Court was just the latest effort by Republicans to overturn the presidential election results by barring states such as Pennsylvania from seating electors.

The Electoral College is scheduled to meet Monday.

To date, dozens of lawsuits by President Donald Trump's campaign have been thrown out in key swing states.

If the petition had been successful, tens of thousands of votes would have been effectively nullified in Perry's district, which includes the northern part of York County, a portion of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County. 

The move would have thrown out 54,600 mail-in votes in Dauphin County. It would also have nullified a significant portion of the 75,000 mail-in ballots in York County and a portion of the 52,700 cast in Cumberland County.

But while more than half of House Republicans signed onto the brief, Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, was not one of them.

Smucker did not immediately respond Friday to requests for comment.

Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes, according to the official results.

Prior to the Supreme Court's decision, other Republicans were vocal in their criticisms of the lawsuit's push to throw out election results.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, tweeted Thursday that the petition was "inconsistent with my beliefs about protecting Texas sovereignty from the meddling of other states."

"I will not join because I believe the case itself represents a dangerous violation of federalism & sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states," he wrote.

Roy's criticism was in line with arguments also made by Pennsylvania's attorneys, who questioned Texas' standing to challenge election results in another state. 

“The court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated,” attorneys for Pennsylvania wrote in a motion responding to the Texas filing. 

Trump also has put immense pressure on Republicans in Pennsylvania's General Assembly in recent weeks.

Trump this month called House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, to do just that, reported The Associated Press.

While Cutler repeated his position that the legislature has no involvement in certifying election results or seating electors, lawmakers on the right flank of the party have been more willing to challenge the results.

Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Adams, for example, on Nov. 27 proclaimed he would introduce a resolution that would overturn Biden's victory in Pennsylvania while speaking on a podcast with Steve Bannon, Trump's former political strategist.

That resolution sits in the Senate State Government Committee, but the legislature is no longer in session.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.