President Donald Trump's legal team suffered another setback on Friday when a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the latest campaign effort to challenge the state's election results and vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite evaluation by US judges that "the claims of the campaign have no merit." “Free and fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. The injustice charges are serious. But calling an election unfair does not mean it is. The charges require specific accusations and then evidence. We don't have any here, ”Trump-appointed Third Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote to the panel of three judges, all appointed by Republican presidents. The case had been discussed last week in a lower court by Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, insisting during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani did not offer any tangible proof of this in court. Federal District Judge Matthew Brann had said that the campaign's bug-ridden complaint, "like Frankenstein's monster, has been stitched up at random" and denied Giuliani the right to amend it a second time.
The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit called the reviews "useless." Chief Justice D. Brooks Smith and Deputy Judge Michael Chagares were on the stand with Bibas. “Voters, not lawyers, elect the president. The ballots are not summaries, they decide the elections, ”Bibas said in the ruling, which also denied the campaign's request to prevent the state from certifying its results. In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in the United States presidential election. Trump has said he expects the Supreme Court to step into the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida granted Republican George W. Bush the choice. On November 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying that "The United States Supreme Court should decide!" Since then, Trump and his surrogates have criticized the election as "flawed" and have filed a series of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battle states. But they have found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, that millions of people voted from their homes during the covid-19 pandemic. Trump perhaps hopes that a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a 6-3 conservative majority will be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania's decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by just a 4-4 vote. "The activist judicial machine in Pennsylvania continues to cover up allegations of massive fraud," tweeted Trump's attorney, Jenna Ellis, after Friday's ruling. "Let's go to the Supreme Court!" The Trump campaign called for disenfranchising the state's 6.8 million voters or at least "targeting" the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said. "One might hope that by seeking such a surprising result, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual evidence of rampant corruption," Brann wrote in his scathing ruling on November 21. "That has not happened."
All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on December 14, and any challenges to the results must be resolved by December 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and the popular vote by wide margins.